I read this wonderful blog this morning which is a review of a book titled “The Library Book”, but which is also about the author’s (Kirsty D’s) love for libraries. It is on the Vulpes Libris blog HERE. It really made me think about the role that libraries have had in my life, and how they fueled my obsession with books and reading. And thinking.
Of course, being the nerdy fangirl that I am, I first must point out that writing the title of this post “The Library” will make a Doctor Who fan think about the wonderful two-part episode of that program with David Tennant, Catherine Tate and featuring the first appearance of Alex Kingston as River Song. Written by Stephen Moffat, now the show runner for Doctor Who and also for Sherlock, it takes place on a planet that is a library. It contains every book every written in all the worlds. Wow. And I thought the Beast’s library in Disney’s Beauty & the Beast was impressive! You can read about “Silence in the Library” on Wikipedia HERE.
Growing up, from the age of about 12 to adulthood, the above pictures illustrate my refuge. The Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, NY. I would spend all day Saturday there with my friends. I started out in the “Young Adult” section and progressed to the Adult Fiction and then to the Non-Fiction sections. I spent a lot of time doing research there during my college days. It was so vast and quiet and smelled like, well, books! Ah, the good old pre-internet days!
Of course, my love of books and libraries began long before I was 12. When I was in kindergarten our class was taken on a trip to the library. We were supposed to get library cards, but sadly my barely legible printing of my name wouldn’t fit on the line on the card, so they wouldn’t let me have one. Imagine! Eventually my printing skills improved, and when we moved to another part of Brooklyn the first thing I checked out was the library. It was not especially close. It was a long walk or a bus ride (if the bus every came!). I spent so much valuable time at the Brooklyn Public Library branch in Borough Park. It was closer than the Grand Army Plaza Library, so I was able to get there more often. I swear I read my way from one end of the place to the other end. I read everything. Probably even things I shouldn’t have been reading at my age. My parents never checked what I was reading! I especially loved psychology and adult fiction. That’s how I read Gone with the Wind and Freud when I was about 10. No wonder I’m messed up! 😀
“The Library Book” apparently includes essays about the future of libraries. They are changing with new technology, as you may know if you have been in one recently. For myself, I now have a Kindle. I read most of my books today on it. I do sometimes treat myself to a purchase of “real” books. I love to go into one of my other favorite places, the bookstore, and look through the shelves for something unexpected. I have not yet checked out the library in my town. It looks very tempting, but my daily commute to NYC makes it difficult to find the time. It makes me sad. I did join their email list, though, so I keep in touch with what programs are provided!
My love of books led my to my first job after college – in a book manufacturing company! But that’s another subject for a post.
Did you go to the library when you were a child? Did your parents bring you there, or did you go on your own? Do you prefer to buy books? Some of my friends still patronize the wonderful NYC libraries on a regular basis. Do you still utilize a library?
And for the obligatory Richard Armitage connection – I wonder if he likes libraries, or liked them when he was a child.
Of course, this all ties in nicely with Spread the Love…First Challenge, which involves donating a book that you loved as a child to earn money to be donated to a Richard Armitage sponsored charity. You can find more information about it on FunkyBlueDandelion’s blog HERE.
So SPREAD THE LOVE…..of books!!
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