When I was a kid, my mother couldn't afford much in the way of activities. Saturday afternoon movies cost a quarter or fifty cents. The swimming pool cost a dollar per visit. But a library card was free. Reading was free. I spent many afternoons in summer reading at the library, which was located in the upper story of an old building on main street, up a steep flight of stairs. I devoured books as a child and youth, traveling the world of words and living adventures with heroic characters: Freckles; Girl of the Limberlost; Little Women; Robinson Crusoe. And I'd check out as many books as the librarian would allow, then sit at home with my nose in a book for hours. I wasn't exactly a couch potato. I played outside with my siblings and neighbor kids, but reading was my favorite pastime. I eventually graduated to Anna Karenina; The Brothers Karamazov; Wuthering Heights; Lady in the Lake; Laura, and other adult classics.
As a clumsy, homely kid who wore thick glasses from age four, words were my friends. Words did not poke fun or turn on me. Words could transform the reader into anything he or she dreamed of being -- beautiful or handsome, brave, adventuresome -- and introduce worlds we might never see otherwise.
After a lifetime of reading, I find it strange that the classics read as a child and young adult are still the only classics I can remember. Where are the new classics? I can't think of any that stayed in my mind. Have I lost touch? Can anyone refresh my memory?
Libraries were wondrous places when I was a child and still are today. Even in remote rural areas, tiny towns have libraries that offer internet access and a myriad of beneficial services. I've been thinking lately how rewarding it would be to work in a library, to share somehow in promoting literacy and my love of reading. I've been a Registered Nurse, medical transcriptionist, writer, and reviewer. In my next job, I want to be a library worker bee.
Other Blogs I Read
- Aston West
- Chuck Foertmeyer
- Dandelion Books
- Economy Lessons from Esther and Herb
- EL Burton
- Elizabeth Lucas-Taylor
- How to Write Your Heart Out
- Jesus In Song
- Josh Sutton
- Nancy Mehl
- New Works Review
- Poet Ed Galing
- Quill and Parchment
- Shadow Poetry
- The Time Garden
- The Woman With Qualities
- Tom Parker
- ► 2009 (13)
- ► 2008 (34)
- ► 2007 (34)
- The Wandering Hermit Review
- An exciting change of pace...
- Poetry publishing and unknown poets
- Literacy, Libraries, and Other Ramblings
- Poetry, Politics, Poverty Two
- Nisqually Delta Review
- Shadow Poetry, Haiku, Senryu -- OH MY!!
- Fourth book in hand
- Poetry, Politics, and Poverty
- Thoughts on Poetry as promised...
- Dandelions grow and thrive everywhere!!
- more looking back plus reader comments....
- Looking back with fondness...
- ▼ January (13)