Thursday, April 2, 2009

Booking Through Thursdays: National Library Week

Booking Through Thursdays asks:

“I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?”

Oh, the public library. I have had a tumultuous relationship with my various public libraries as I’ve grown up. I suppose I should start from the beginning. But don’t worry—I won’t go through the entire sordid history.

My earliest memory of the library was of my first library card. A true rite of passage, we were assigned our first library cards in the first grade. I was lucky enough to go to school within walking distance of the nicest, prettiest library you could find in an East Toronto suburb. To this day, I still frequent the same library. Of course, none of the librarians recognize me since I was knee-high to a grasshopper when I first patronized the branch, and it’s been at least ten if not fifteen years since then.

Still, it fills me with joy to go back to the same library where I fell in love with the written word. While things may have changed a little since those first tentative years, I can still find anything I need in that branch. And if it’s not there, I can certainly put it on hold. At first I devoured old copies of Asterix comics, Baby-Sitters Club adventures, and Goosebumps, but eventually I branched off—I found the non-fiction section, romance novels, mysteries, magazines. I would spend whole summers in that tiny branch.

And I've certainly given my library card a work out; if I’m in a reading mode, it’s hard for me to curb how many books I take out. Over the years I’ve learned to be prudent though. The first and only time I ever found myself faced with a $90 library fine (because I refused to return the books…oops!), I knew I couldn’t let that happen again. I’m happy to report that it’s never happened since. *knocks on wood*

When I first moved back to Toronto, I couldn't afford cable. The library kept me from going insane with it's DVD collection and it introduced me to such memorable characters as Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable, and Audrey Hepburn. Everyone should watch old movies. They are amazing.

Now I’m happily in between two really great libraries: Main Street and Beaches. I couldn’t live without my local public library because it’s like a bottomless bag of crack—without it I would be strung-out and broke from all the books I’d buy (and I still buy a lot of books.)

Image Source: Chuck Kahn


Jess said...

I loved the Babysitters Club, probably my very first book series obsession.

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

Ok, I'll try that comment again. Did you ever get hooked on the Sweet Valley High series? When I was reading them in my formative years, I had this great idea that they should be turned into a TV series. I was broken hearted when I found out that someone did just that. Sheesh.

Olga said...

I was totally a SVH girl. The series was total crap though.