Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Mondays–Library Memories


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Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!
Here’s my Musing Mondays ramble for this week:

ChomskyI was lucky to grow up in a town with a good library. My parents started taking me there regularly when I was 3 or 4, and that started a habit that I’ve had ever since. Back then the town library was a stone building between a church and the YMCA. I thought it was huge back then, but it was really probably the size of an average two-story house. Adult books upstairs, kids books downstairs. I still remember being really intrigued by those long poles that held the newspapers–do libraries even still have those?

When I got older—starting in about the 5th grade–I can vividly remember riding my bike downtown to the library on weekends with one of my good friends who was also a reader. This was back in the days when our parents didn’t even blink at the thought of two pre-teen girls (without helmets!) riding their bikes alone across busy streets to the middle of town—they just said they’d see us when we got back.

We’d go to the library first and check out as many books as we could fit into our bike baskets. Then we’d stop by this great little candy store where you could buy candy by the piece. I think I usually bought chocolate licorice and maybe some other little chocolate candies of some sort. We’d then ride our bikes back to my house and either sit out in the backyard or in my bedroom and eat the candy and read our books. We wouldn’t talk too much—we’d just read. When it was time for her to go home we’d talk about what we’d read and maybe make plans to trade books in a few days. We did this more times than I can count.

That library eventually expanded, and then finally moved to a brand new building—probably at least 25 years ago. There are also two other separate branches that have since opened. The main branch is large and gorgeous and it’s truly a big part of the community. It has huge windows that look out over the river and big comfy chairs that just beg you to sit in them and get lost in a book. The kids section is colorful and the librarians are kind. I go there sometimes when I’m visiting my parents. I’m not sure if any kids ride their bikes there anymore, and it’s not near a candy store—but I still remember how it felt to come home with books, candy, and a friend and have the whole afternoon stretched out in front of us—with nothing to do but read.

How about you? Do you have any childhood library memories? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

20 thoughts on “Musing Mondays–Library Memories

  1. That sounds like a lovely childhood. I remember having that with my Mum. On looooong summer afternoons, when it was too hot to do anything else, Mum and I would sit with our books with large pots of iced yoghurt and just read. At the end, we too would talk about what we’d been reading (although, I think she censored most of the stuff that she’d been reading to tell me!), such good fun!

  2. I didn’t go to the library as a child, but I take my son there all the time…hopefully he will have some good memories! ~Deanna

  3. I’m going to save my memories for another Monday’s musing! What a great prompt. And I love your musing.

  4. What lovely memories. My mother used to leave me in the library before I’d even started school while she went shopping! Different times, I remember going round the boxes of pre-school books and piling up my finds on a chair. When we moved I used to go every Saturday to the library and pick books and then often walk home reading them because I couldn’t wait to get home!

    • Those were such different days–can you imagine a parent leaving a preschooler alone in a public place like that today? But it does prove the point that libraries have often been viewed as safe havens–by adults and by kids.

  5. I lived in a small town with a really small library that was only open two afternoons a week. I still managed to find books to read and I was there at least one of the afternoons it was open each week. Here is my MM

  6. The first book I ever checked out was “Harold and his Purple Crayon.” How on earth have I remembered that?

    • WOW–that is seriously impressive! You’ve got me beat on that one–I have no idea what my first library book was.

      • I am now reading Grisham’s book The Racketeer, from the library. All the other hundreds (1,000’s?) of books in between are lost to the ether. “Harold” stuck in my mind because I’d finished reading it while I was in the library but still had to check it out for the week. It annoyed me that I couldn’t choose another book.

  7. As a teen I can remember my mum taking us to the library. More often than not I’d come away with a painting / print (do they even loan these anymore? I actually remember that more than borrowing books. Here’s my musing:

    • I do remember being able to borrow paintings from the library! I also remember “The Picture Lady” coming around to our classrooms with paintings and teaching us about them.

  8. Well captured! I still remember the joy of going to the library as a child. Then I moved to book stores and felt joy. I need to go back to the library.

  9. Pingback: L is for LIBRARY NOSTALGIA–The April A-Z Challenge/Day 12 | Musings From A Bookmammal

  10. We would go to the library every week when I was a child. Unfortunately it was far so my mom had to drive us. It is a tradition I have continued with my own children whom I now see walking to the library to get a new stash when they have finished reading what they have.

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