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Booking Through Thursday 8/21: Libraries

August 21, 2008

From Booking Through Thursday: Inspired by Booksplease

Whether you usually read off of your own book pile or from the library shelves NOW, chances are you started off with trips to the library. (There’s no way my parents could otherwise have kept up with my book habit when I was 10.) So … What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have any funny/odd memories of the library?

The first thing that comes to mind is the Mattituck Free Library, in the town on Long Island where my grandparents live.  When I was a little kid, a skunk got trapped in the vestibule somehow.  For a few summers, the smell was almost overwhelming.  Then it faded to a vaguely evergreen funk, a faint whiff.  To this day,  the vestiges of skunk smell make me feel a little bookish.

During the school year, there was the Epiphany Branch library, affiliated with the scary, dark, ultra-modern Catholic Church my mom and I attended on Sundays.  (I’m convinced that the Church architecture is what made me be a lapsed Catholic.) The only way to get up to the second floor for the children’s books was a scary, slow elevator that never felt like it was moving at all, just like it was trapping you and holding you captive.  Yikes!  Given that elevator, I’m surprised I didn’t start reading YA books (on the first floor) sooner.

But I was a young-for-my-age, innocent kid, didn’t really have much to do with “teen” lit until I was 14 or so.  Now, of course, there’s so much more good, fantastic YA out there- wonderful magical themes and imagination, and not just kissing boys.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2008 3:18 pm

    Anything to do with with makes me read!


    Library memories

  2. August 21, 2008 3:21 pm

    I probably would have like the elevator ride.

  3. August 21, 2008 6:41 pm

    Everyone seems to have had their children section in library up stairs, mine was down stairs. Mine had no elevator.

  4. August 21, 2008 8:18 pm

    What an interesting juxtaposition – skunks and books! :o) Great story!

  5. August 23, 2008 11:28 pm

    I like the smell of musty books, but I don’t think I would like the smell of skunky books!

  6. elizabethwillse permalink*
    August 24, 2008 4:47 am

    It wasn’t so much that the books themselves smelled skunky- just the lobby itself. And so a little whiff of skunk-that-has-been makes me feel bookish, even now.

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