“When I got my library card, that is when my life began.”
Rita Mae Brown
“I read library books as fast as I could go, rushing them home in the basket of my bicycle.”
“Libraries raised me.”
I came across these wonderful quotes at a wonderful exhibit on children’s books at the New York Public Library. The exhibit traced the history of stories written for children since the days of the Puritans — and it was a joyous celebration of art and the writer’s craft. One case even held the original Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Eoyore stuffed toys that inspired AA Milne — adorable!
One aspect of the exhibit focused on beloved librarians who had devoted their lives to bringing wonderful literature to children. This started me thinking about the quotes above and about the role that the library played in my life as a kid. We had a small branch library in Washington Heights where I grew up. I can still remember the thrill of going there with my mom to get my first library card. Being able to take out a big pile of books was so exciting! I remember story times there and gazing at the old wooden shelves lining the walls, just enjoying the colorful book covers and wondering what treasures lay inside.
I don’t think I’ve ever lost that sense of adventure about opening a fresh new book — which is why I’m a paper gal and love the feeling of holding a new book. Thinking back on all this makes me realize how lucky we are to live in the world of words. Write on!