Thursday, June 12, 2008


When I was a kid, I loved going to the library.

I love to read. My parents say that even as a kid I would walk around with a book in front of my face, running into walls.

I remember the first time I could read the Howard Johnson sign that was always lit up by our expressway exit. I was little and I remember that moment being so exciting for me. Reading was so important for me and I constantly read.

Luckily, my parents never really regulated what I read. I read most everything I could get my hands on.

I threw away my reading log from the 8th grade not too long ago (It should be noted that I'm a huge pack rat and maybe one day I will post excepts from my most favorite love letters --- or maybe not). Anyway, I had kept this reading journal we had as an assignment. This reading journal still ranks as one of my favorite assignments of all time. We had to write a letter to someone in our class every week about what we were reading. They had to respond within a certain time period. We also had to write to the teacher every so often. I know it was more complicated than that, but that's the main gist. It was fun to see all the inside jokes we were able to slip into our short reading letters, and also it was always fun to look back on the reading log, a list stapled into our journal of the books we read and how long they were.

I worked through a Michael Creighton period in the 8th grade. The Client and Disclosure were
both on my reading list. I also worked through a series about dragons that I also adored. I read The Hot Zone, a story about Ebola in Africa. The book freaked me out so bad, I stopped writing to my Ugandan pen pal soon afterward (I'm sorry!). The girls in my class devoured books by "Anonymous," often diaries of teenagers who ended up dead through their misdeeds -- witchcraft, drugs, etc. I read a bunch of Caroline B. Cooney books, mostly because my 6th grade teacher wouldn't let us order them from the scholastic book catalog.

Remember those Book Clubs? Did you have them in your grade school? About once a month we were able to order books and sometimes posters and stuff from a small catalog. It was always so much fun to me. Do they still do that these days? I still have some of my books from this time period.

Anyway, I loved going to the library. I would pick up a ton of books, read them all, and take them back, dog willing. I say dog willing because my dog Halley had me pay for at least one book over the years after she ate the cover of the Sweet Valley High Jungle Prom book (Oh no, Elizabeth gets drunk b/c Jessica spiked her drink so Jessica would win prom queen! Elizabeth drives off with Jessica's boyfriend. And we all know what happens to those who get in a car with a soused Elizabeth). I spent many hours at the library.

The point of the post is this: I have rediscovered the library.

It literally takes me five minutes to drive there. I pick up all sorts of chick lit and I have had a fantastic, reading-filled summer. I've even revisited my youth a bit, enjoyed some Judy Blume. I am working up my courage to go down to the juvenile section and pick up a book that my fifth grade teacher (in the only good thing she ever did for our class) read to us -- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I remember being so enchanted by this story but I have never read it myself.

It's amazing to have spent so many years away from the library only to come back and pick right back up where I left off. I apparently even lost my little card on my keychain the other day, and you know what? Someone RETURNED it to the library! Without checking out all sorts of inappropriate things or ruining my internet access because of looking up inappropriate things! Isn't that nice?

So I'm officially pro-library. I will now get off my soapbox and put on my "dork" hat. :)

1 comment:

dtjunkie said...

I once loved the library. Then they blacklisted me for silly things like not returning books. And so when the late fees became more expensive than purchasing the book brand new... I never went back.

Now I'm working on my own library!

But I really loved this post. Lots of memories.... especially with the book catalogs from school. The Boxcar children, the My Teacher is an Alien series, The Ghost in the 3rd Row.... all from those catalogs. I still have most of those books on a shelf in my study

So you brought up some good memories! It might be nice to mend the fences and head back to the world of borrowing books. Perhaps I should try that.

Then again, maybe I won't.