The weekly Booking Through Thursday question for today is:
Suggested by Barbara:
I saw that National Library week is coming up in April [12-18], 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?
Thanks for using my question!
I remember the thrill of getting my very own library card in elementary school. I don’t remember going to the library other than through school. When my children were small I wanted them to have that “thrill,” too. We went to the library from the days they were toddlers, took out heaps of books that they then wanted me to read to them the rest of the day. I loved it. They got library cards when they were old enough to clearly print their names. We went to some of the special programs (meeting Mr. McFeely at one. Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was their main childhood program, so that was fun). We participated in every summer reading program.
They loved to be read to when they were younger, and my oldest loved to read for himself, but the younger two left off reading for pleasure. That makes me so sad — I think they’d enjoy it if they tried it again, but they both say they’re not a “reading kind of guy.” 😦 But, consequently, somewhere along the way we gradually stopped going to the library.
I worked in the university library while in college. I enjoyed studying there, particularly since I had access to a couple of quiet spots away from the crowd, but it was too busy then to wander around looking at books for pleasure. I do remember when I was being trained for the reference room that I was pretty scared of the responsibility of helping students find resources they needed (in the day before the Internet), but I also discovered the library had a wealth of resources that were probably unknown to most people. In my senior year they began building the new library, so it’s not recognizable to me any more.
I don’t go to the library much these days unless I am looking for a classic or trying out a new author. I read mostly Christian fiction, and most libraries aren’t current in that genre except for the best sellers, like the Left Behind and Mitford series.
There is something cozy about the older, darker libraries. If I were going to the library to sit down and read, I would prefer the old-fashioned kind. The sleek modern ones were a little intimidating to me at first — they just seemed so busy and bright and scattered. But I have gotten more used to them now and I love the efficiency of them. They still don’t seem very inviting to me, though. They seemed designed more to get your business done and get out.
My oldest likes to go to the coffeehouse bookstores. To him that’s a pleasant evening out. I haven’t really gone to them to sit down and read — I guess I am still not used to being able to take coffee over to a chair and pick out a book to read there. I’d be expecting someone to tell me food and drink aren’t allowed where they could be spilled on the merchandise (do they have a “you spill, you buy” policy, I wonder?), and I keep expecting someone to tap me on the shoulder and tell me if I am going to read the book, I need to go ahead and buy it. Usually when I go I know what I want, and I get it and leave. But if I wanted to check a book or author I was unsure of, I’d welcome the opportunity to sit down and read a little more extensively before deciding to buy the book. In that case I probably would check the library first.
I’ve just realized that I’ve lost that pleasurable strolling through aisles of books and discovering treasures. I remember finding books I really enjoyed just by looking around within a certain category. I should probably try that again — after I get my to-be-read stack whittled down.
There is another special memory the library holds for me: that’s where I met my husband. ♥