Libraries ~

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.

bookmobile

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.

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Salem Library – Salem, Mass.

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………….

 

5 thoughts on “Libraries ~

  1. Once again you reflected on something from my childhood. I grew up in Litchfield, CT (about five miles from where I live now) and lived within walking distance of our public library. I remember spending many hours there after school reading and then walking home with a stack of books. The library, which is the historical society now, had a room upstairs with a glass floor and I was always afraid to walk on it. After a career with the postal service I decided to go back to work a few days a week at our local library here in Goshen. It was a rewarding experience seeing all the elementary school children come over from the attached grammar school to check out books. I noticed, unfortunately, that many of the children seldom visited the library once they went off to high school. I so enjoy your posts.

    Susanna Shirlock

    Liked by 1 person

    • With no small children in my family anymore, I do wonder how many even visit libraries now a days. With electronic devices given to them by parents, I have a feeling very few enjoy the library like you and I did. A glass floor! Now THAT sounds interesting.

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  2. You and sound like sisters from another mother! I have always loved reading. My three older sisters (10, 11 and 13 years my senior) were always making fun of me and when my younger sister came along she was not a reader either. I can’t remember how many times I was admonished to ‘Dawn put that book down and play with your sister.’ Books were amazing. I got sent to stand in the corner in first grade because I read ahead while a boy was struggling to read aloud. It seemed so unfair. I grew up in a very small, rural town in PA that did not have a library. But every summer the elementary school library would be open one morning a week and you could get out 10 books! Only 10! So I’d bribe my younger sister to go with me and she would get out 10 books and so would I – all of my choosing! And I would read. My mother was constantly saying to stop reading and play, but somehow a blanket and a book under a tree or on the porch swing became my favorite thing to do and place to be. So I became the family reader. I read Cheaper by the Dozen when I was seven – a book my sister in high school had brought home. They did not believe I could understand it but after grilling me on characters and plot, I remember her bragging to her friends that I was reading at a high school level. Words and books were my best friends growing up.

    When I was pregnant with my only daughter I spent hours in the richer reading aloud to my unborn child, and when she was born we continued tat tradition. I am happy to report she became a reader too, the summer between first and second grades she read an entire series. We visited the library often and our bookshelves st home filled up quickly from the time she was little. I probably have 5 or 6 large boxes of books in the basement awaiting my future grandchildren.

    Danielle took to Kindke from the beginning, me – I liked the feel of a book in my hand, call me old fashioned. But then I was in the hospital unexpectedly in 2014 for three days with no books. When Danielle called to see how I was I told her I didn’t have any books with me. She talked me through installing the Kindle app and purchasing books online and reading on my phone. Five kindle books later and discharged, I went back to ‘real’ books, but I slowly came around. I discovered Overdrive from my friendly librarian, who jokes when she sees me now, that she misses me and rarely sees me. It is so convenient while waiting in line or during my lunchtime at work to just take out my photos be and read.

    So I would say books and libraries are two of my favorite things and reading is my favorite hobby! It opened worlds for this small town PA girl who still reads as much as I possibly can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great story! Thanks so much for sharing! Yes, we are both connected with books and libraries. I had to smile about the Kindle……..I really fought it! Especially since my first books were only released in print at the time. I vowed to never give in. But I did. The main reasons were because it was SO convenient, especially when I traveled, not to lug around a print book. But also because I could bump up the size of the font. I’d have to say that today 90% of my reading is done on my iPad with Kindle ebooks or the OverDrive app. But….like you, I still love the feel of a book in my hands.

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