Beverly Library, Beverly, Mass.
I mentioned recently that I began reading at 5 years old. To be honest, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read. I vividly recall at 4 years old holding my mom’s hand and walking up what seemed to me a million steps to enter the Beverly Library. We lived in the downtown area of Beverly in the early 50’s so it was an easy walk from our house. My mother was an avid reader and I loved going with her to the library. I can still remember my sense of pride on leaving as I clutched my books to my chest.
And then at age 7, my dad got transferred with GE to Ohio. We lived in a suburb of Cincinnati in Reading. It was 1954. There was probably a brick and mortar library building in town, but I don’t recall it. What I do remember fondly was the Bookmobile that came through our neighborhood. I believe it came once a week. I can still recall giggling when I first saw it. When I eyed this bus, I felt a sense of disappointment after my visits to the massive Beverly Library. But once I entered…….I was immediately lost in the world of books. The aisle was filled with shelves from top to bottom….with books of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, etc. And all of a sudden the physical structure of the library didn’t matter. I was able to browse and get lost in books.
And then at age 13 we moved back to Salem, Massachusetts. We again lived in the downtown area where I could walk everywhere and it didn’t take me long to find the library. I immediately resonated with the building itself. Built it 1855, it had been the mansion of sea captain, John Bertram and I fell in love. Even then I was captivated with old, antique homes and buildings. But walking inside I felt I was truly transported to another world. The dark wood, the moulding, the elaborate staircase leading up to even more aisles of books, little nooks and crannies with sunlight streaming through the old windows. I frequented the library a lot and devoured many a book.
And then by the time I remarried and moved to Peabody, I didn’t visit the library quite as often. I discovered small bookshops and began to purchase books. And eventually, many years later, along came Kindle and ebooks. But now I feel as if I’ve come full circle to a certain degree. I discovered OverDrive, an app where one can borrow library books (ebook or audio) and read them on your device. So I went to the Ormond Beach library when I first moved here and got my library card and last year I decided to use the app. I borrowed a few books but then resorted back to Amazon. However, over the past month I found my way back to the OverDrive app and I’m truly loving it.
I have bookcases and bookshelves filled with print books. At this stage of the game, it seems downright silly to purchase more books. To be read only once. For me, borrowing the ebooks from the library seems the more practical route to take.
And besides, it’s just another thing I’ve discovered in my journey on arriving full circle.
See you here next time………….