I treated myself to a trip to one of my favorite places yesterday and, as always, I brought home a few special gifts.
I’ve loved libraries for more than half a century. When I was young, I used to check out as many as they would let me, hide myself in a corner of our house, and read until some chore or activity yanked me away.
I’m still tickled that I can walk into a library, swipe a card, and walk away with all the books as I can carry. For free.
Yesterday, I grabbed a book reviewed by Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes and T’is. (Sidenote, he was also an excellent speaker. I heard Frank McCourt at a Lawrence University Convocation years ago and I loved it).
McCourt described the book as “seductive and deliciously American and there are passages so wondrous and wise you’ll want to claw yourself with pleasure.” I blushed a little as I scanned Peace Like A River and I can’t wait to dive in.
An avid reader who tends to work her way through genres, I’m familiar with nearly every section of the Appleton Public Library. I went through a true crime phase in 1992 and read everything Truman Capote, Ann Rule and Vincent Bugliosi ever wrote.
I’m not above Y/A literature and find it excellent treadmill reading. I also like biographies, autobiographies and history, though I’ll always be partial to well-written fiction.
Yesterday, I strolled through the children’s section and vividly recalled the crazy, delightful mornings I spent there, hunkered down in the train, reading stories to my own little ones.
Libraries have grown up since then (though that cool reading train still exists). Now, you can order digital books and read magazines online. I think that’s fantastic.
But, I still enjoy my visits to the local library, where I can hear the whispers of a thousand story tellers, roam a little through their well-crafted pages, swipe a card and let them take me away.