In February, the published authors of the Toronto Romance Writers hosted a Librarians’ Tea for our local librarians. A resounding success, it brought back fond memories of visiting my local library often and regularly when I was a child (which, admittedly, was a verrrry long time ago). In those days, libraries were quiet, hushed places. My library was a sanctuary for me and I loved its hallowed stacks of books.
In my large family there were resources for only a few books. I craved more and got to know my local branch well.
The upper floor was devoted exclusively to children and I would curl up in cozy window benches in front of leaded glass-paned windows and devour books. Because it was such a long time ago no individual titles come to mind, but I do remember reading the Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans as well as the Curious George books by H.A. and Margret Rey–and loving them. There was also my prolonged fascination with ballerinas.
Somehow, I missed the Nancy Drew series, but loved the Bobbsey Twins. By then, I felt a closer kinship with the older 12-year-old twins Bert and Nan, than with 6-year-old Freddie and Flossie.
I moved on to Daphne DuMaurier, Phyllis A. Whitney, Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart, and devoured their books.
I’m sure that libraries nurtured most of today’s authors and a huge number of today’s readers.
I have tremendous respect for librarians and the work they do. These are the people getting our children as hooked on reading as we are.
I would love to know of your memories of your library when you were a child, tweenie and/or teenager. What books did you read? Which ones stand out as your favorites?