When I Fell in Love with the Library Part II
After my first visit to the library our father allowed us to return there once a week. I don’t remember which day of the week we went there. The library was not open every day but three days a week and one of the days was Saturday. So it may have been Saturdays when we went, all I can remember is that once a week I woke up very excited because around 10:00am my sisters and I were going to walk those three blocks and spend a couple of hours at the library.
My sister directly under me, (my Irish twin) and I found that we loved the same kind of books. We became classical book fans. We read, Charles Dickens; David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Mark Twain’s; Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn (my father did not approve of that title), and Puddin’ Head Wilson (Mark Twain wrote this one as Samuel Clemons), just to name a few, there were so many others. Out librarian was a pretty, kindly lady that was always happy to see us enter the building. She would meet us at the door, with books that she was saving for us to read. I never remember her charging us a late fee, even though I know that we were late with books many times, because we would read the same titles over and over again until we could recite them from memory.
Now that I think back our library was somewhat small, as I said two rooms with books ever where that a book would fit. Being about nine years old the place looked enormous to me and I was determined to read as many titles that I could read.
So here I am having a love affair with books and the Brainerd Library on 89th and Loomis. One day something happened that affected me for years to come. I arrived and the librarian was very excited. She took me by the hand and ran me to a section of the library where there were new (used) books stacked on the shelves. On the rib of the book it read in gold letters Ramona and Beezus. She explained to me in a hurried voice that these were some of the best books for children ever created. She said that the author really knew how to relate to children and the books were very popular. She said that she had been waiting for me to give me two books to read, they were Ramona and Beezus and Henry Huggins and Ribsy. She said that after I read those two I would be introduced to all the characters and she would give me more books to read. She told me that the characters were unique children that always had adventures. I took the books home and I was spellbound by the books. I must have read every title that was available and there were a lot of them. These wonderful books took me on a journey that lasted for years to come. If I remember correctly it took me at least a year or two to read all of the titles.
I still love libraries to this day. I love to walk amongst the stacks and touch every book that I walk by, fingering the bridges of the books and peeking inside to read random pages. Just to get a taste of the book that I plan to devour later. Good stuff.