Day 12 – “L” Libraries and Literature
Growing up in a small farming town with a population of around 3,000, there was only so much to do during summer vacations. We could go to the park, go to the pool, go on walks around the neighborhood, or to a friend’s house to play. Then there was the local library. Nothing huge to speak of, just a small house that had been renovated into a tiny, two room library, separated into children’s and adult sections, and by genre from there.
This building was my home away from home. I have so many heartwarming memories of my mom taking my sister and I there on sunny afternoons to load up our book bags with Nancy Drew and the Boxcar Children; taking those treasures back home to curl up under my favorite juniper tree in our backyard, lost in mystery for hours on end.
I loved the thrill of seeing my name written, permanently in ink, on the library card that was tucked into the inside cover. I adored the old school Dewey Decimal System that our schools had; rows upon rows of index cards, details of each book neatly printed in typewriter font, tucked away in gorgeous wooden drawers. Alas, those days are gone. I haven’t been into a library in years that hasn’t upgraded to an electronic system. While certainly more efficient, I miss the manual methods.
Throughout college, I frequented the university’s library primarily for academic purposes, as reading for fun was pushed to the back burner. Even though I wasn’t perusing the fiction shelves, the library was easily my go-to place for studying. I had a few reading nooks, tucked away on the second or third floors, boasting gorgeous views of the campus that I always snuck off to.
Post-college, I developed a habit of buying books versus checking them out at the library. This has resulted in a home library that is in desperate need for an annual purge. Only recently, I have started frequenting my city’s large public library, checking out books (even if I have to be put on a wait-list) instead of spending unnecessary money on them (definitely something that keeps my husband happy!).
Don’t get me wrong, I still buy certain books that I know I will want to keep in my personal library, and will often buy books on my e-reader for convenience sake, but I am thrilled to finally be back in the groove of checking out library books, and hope that this is a routine and tradition I can pass along to my family, creating happy memories for my children.
Do you still go to the library? If so, what do you like about it? If not, what factors have made you go a different direction?