You check out more library books than you can carry. You check out more library books than can fit in your tote bag. You forget your tote bag. You visit the library in rain that’s coming down so hard your tote bag is powerless against it.
Chapter 10: Bookworm Problems (I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel)
This quote inspired today’s blog post on my hometown library. This lovely book about books is available now wherever your favorite books are sold.
For years, I never gave a second thought to what was upstairs. Everything I needed was in the basement of our local library.
The children’s section.
Just down the stairs, in the back room, was the young readers section. The bathrooms were beyond that. I remember being so impressed that you could check out the Peter Rabbit box set, and get not one, but multiple books. It was here I fell in love with the book, Ira Sleeps Over. I bet I checked it out a dozen times or more. I had a few books at home, but in those days it wasn’t as easy to just pick up favorite reads from a bookstore or online. Actually, our small town only had a local bookstore for a little while, and that would be several years later. But the library let me borrow that book, and any number of others, again and again.
In case children got bored (as if), or needed something to do while Mom or Dad looked for books, there were big, colorful foam blocks in various shapes in this room. Actually, now that I think about it, I remember my little brother entertaining himself here, waiting for his big sister to hurry up and make her book selections.
Once I could read on my own, I graduated to the far room in that basement. From there, you could look out the basement window to the steps entering the library. I never paid much attention to the window, though. The good stuff was right there inside. At the time, it seemed like every book imaginable was available to me. The library often gave us plastic bags with a cute reading phrase on them. You’d cinch them shut with a string. I ripped more than one of these bags because it was stuffed too full. Over-capacity.
If it was a very good day at the library, Ms. Judith would be reading aloud. All of the librarians were nice, but Ms. Judith had a glow about her. She loved children reading books. When we sat in a semi-circle facing her, and she opened a particular book (the one every child would be clamoring to check out at the end of story time), she had every child’s undivided attention. Then, in her sing-song voice that she kicked up a notch every time she began reading, we’d hear, “Today, boys and girls….” Every child needs a librarian like Ms. Judith in his life.
Every summer, the library offered a reading program for kids. There’s no sense denying my pride. Whenever I’d take my list of the books I’d read the week prior up to the librarians to receive my stamp, they’d often make a remark about the number of books on my list. It was always my goal to fill up the page front and back and then some. I was never able to do much with a ball, but I could compete when it came to reading books.
Oh, eventually I moved upstairs to the adult section. I read bigger books. Harder books. Always reading. So much so that when I turned 16 and started driving around our rather small town, I had no idea where anything was located. My nose had always been in a book while Mom did the driving.
When I think back on that library in my hometown, I don’t give much thought to the upstairs. It never held quite the same magic. I became a reader, a book lover, in the basement.
I got a text from my friend the other day,
My kids officially a book nerd, she got a job at the library.
A book nerd? Maybe. Also, your kid is living my dream.