Thursday, August 21, 2008

Libraries

Whether you usually read off of your own book pile or from the library shelves NOW, chances are you started off with trips to the library. (There’s no way my parents could otherwise have kept up with my book habit when I was 10.) So … What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have you any funny/odd memories of the library?

As a child I don’t remember using a library. The school library was a place for classes and meetings but the actual books were quite limited and I don’t ever remember checking any out. The public library was very limited and I only recall going once with a school trip. As a child my source for books were mainly book fairs plus my dad bought me series that I liked such as Nancy Drew and Laura Ingalls Wilder. My favorite source for books were “borrowing” or swiping those belonging to my older sister such as all the Ian Fleming books, Coffee, Tea or Me (a wildly trashy and inappropriate book for a young child about airline stewardess), Shirley McClain books and books about aliens and the lost city of Atlantis. My taste in books have radically changed since then but the sense that reading was exciting and sort of illicit has stuck with me.

I didn’t really discover libraries until I was an adult living in the states and now I am back in a location with no real libraries. Thank god for internet shopping! I do love reading about libraries. A very interesting read is Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles. One of my favorite stories about a library is by Borges called the Library of Babel which is here. Although not a warm and cozy sort of library that you would want to spend time in, it is certainly memorable.

4 comments:

Smilingsal said...

Ouch! To live in a location without a library. You poor thing.

Shannon at Confuzzled Books said...

My elementary school library got me addicted to V.C. Andrews books. I don't read them now but I use to eat them up. And now that I think about them I don't think they were good for elementary kids to read.

Carl V. said...

My earliest memories are of the Book Mobile coming to our little country school. I remember checking out Beatrix Potter books. I think it is sad that I am so old ;) that this generation has no idea what a Book Mobile even is!

Jeane said...

How sad to not live near a library. I had a set of Laura Ingalls Wilder as a kid- my sisters and I read them many times. And I love Library: An Unquiet History. Nice blog you have.