Thursday, April 14, 2016
There was no public library in our town when I was growing up, so we had to rely on our own family library, the school libraries, and the bookmobile. When Daddy built our house, one of the things that he included was built in shelves and cabinets in our front entryway. We never have used the front door very much. Normally only strangers and door to door salesmen come to the front door. Most people come around to the back door entrance into the back porch laundry area and then into the kitchen. But I digress. Library. A large portion of my parent's personal library is housed on these homemade bookshelves in the front entryway. While I was growing up, at least one large shelf was filled with several years worth, probably over a decade worth, of National Geographic Magazines. I loved National Geographic! I spent many long hours with those magazines! I still love the magazine, but no longer subscribe due to budget restraints. If I happen across one in a waiting room, I get dibs!
The front entry library also housed a shelf or two of encyclopedias, several sets of classics, a well used collection of stories based on Walt Disney Movies, many biographies and many of my mother's favorite novels, as well as old college text books, books of quotes and poetry, and books on religion and scriptures. Over the years Daddy built many other bookshelves. Each bedroom has bookshelves, as well as the living room and both the upstairs and the downstairs hallways. Our house has always been brimming with books, and my children have always loved finding a good book at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
The best thing about going to school was reading, and being able to check out library books!! In kindergarten, first and second grades, the school librarian would visit our classroom once each week with a cart filled with picture books. That was wonderful, but the two picture books that we were allowed to check out each week were not nearly enough reading material for me. I would have those books read from cover to cover on the school bus ride home. My very kind older brother introduced me to the Bobbsey Twins chapter books when I was in first or second grade, and would almost weekly sacrifice one of his two library selections and check out a new Bobbsey Twins book for me to read each week, being content with his own Black Stallion book or whatever his choice for himself was. He loved to read too, but didn't spend quite as much time as I did with my nose in a book. Once I reached the upper grades in elementary school it was so satisfying to be able to visit the school library each week and make my own selections from all of the offerings. Some of my favorites were the original Box Car Children books, Cherry Ames Nurse series, and Ballet Shoes and the others in that series, Donna Parker, and Trixie Beldon,
When I was very young, the school library would be open one morning each week during the summer vacation. My siblings and I would walk the 1/2 mile into town just to check out our books. After a few years the Book Mobile started coming into town every week and the school library no longer opened. It didn't really matter, we still looked forward to library day.
The high school/junior high school also had a wonderful library, and that was where my friends and I spent most of our free time before school and during lunch hour. Of course at that time we didn't do much reading, but more visiting, often while working on homework assignments. But rest assured, I still made sure that I had at least one new, unread book to take home with me for leisure reading pleasure after chores, piano practice and homework. (And if you must know the truth, often times before!!)
What library memories do you have?