By Liz, grumbling about the sneaky spring snowstorm and hoping the temps rise fast!
Last week, I did an event for the Murder & Mayhem mystery group at the South Windsor Public Library here in Connecticut. I’d never been to this library before and was delighted to go. It gave me a chance to not only meet new readers and mystery lovers, but to check out a new library.
As a lifelong reader and writer, libraries have always been a sacred place for me. I was fortunate enough to have a mother who read to me from day one, and those were always my favorite childhood memories. She began taking me to the library as a toddler, and it became our weekly date. When I was a bit older, my father ran a small driving school nights and weekends in North Andover, Massachusetts, and on Saturdays we’d go visit him. But before we did that, we’d go to the library.
The children’s area in the Stevens Memorial Library was in its own room on the first floor. I could wander the shelves for hours, just browsing, checking out new titles, authors, and covers that peaked my interest. When I got older, my mother would leave me down there while she went up and looked at her own books. I found my favorite young adult book there – Daphne’s Book, a story about a young girl who grudgingly partners up with a classmate to do a project and learns about her tragic family life. (I was so delighted to see this book is still in print, and even reissued with a new cover!)
I used to check that book out once every couple months and re-read it. If I had time, I’d curl up on the floor and read some chapters from a favorite Judy Blume or Nancy Drew story. And always, I’d go home with a pile of books.
After my father closed his driving school, we spent more time at our hometown library, the Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen. It was here that I experienced many firsts: first significant research paper, first school project with friends and even first major grounding episode. Yes, during one memorable adventure researching skin for a science fair, I got home late and was grounded. (Yes, from the library. Yes, my parents had no idea what other kids were getting up to.)
As an author, it was an amazing experience to be invited to Nevins on two occasions to promote my books. It felt like visiting an old, familiar friend. And really, any library I’m lucky enough to visit is perfect. As soon as I walk inside, it feels like home.
Readers, what’s your favorite library story?