Lately, I’ve been thinking about the homes my books had before they were on my shelf. Maybe it’s the four huge bins of books of my books my mother brought me from her house (just the ones from college and grad school). Or maybe it’s that I recently passed the sad corner on which the B&N that used to employ me sat, up until it closed at the end of last year. But either way, I thought it might be fun to share my library memories.
I was a library kid. The Rushmore Memorial Library, in fact.
I grew up not far from here, and though I wasn’t allowed to cross the street that stood between us without a parent, my family spent quite a bit of time here growing up. I haven’t been inside in a very long time, but I can remember being small and reveling in the freedom of a few hours in the kids’ section while my mom went to look for her own books.
Next up was my town’s other library, the Ida Cornell Library. It shared a parking lot with my elementary school, so while it wasn’t my library, I did get to go often. This was more a social library for me, in fifth or sixth grade, working on some project or hanging out with my equally nerdy friends. I always felt slightly disloyal when I was there, cheating on Rushmore, but that feeling was assuaged by my joy that it looked like some strange fairy tale house.
I haven’t been much of a library person since childhood, perhaps because virtually all my pre-DGLM employment was in bookstores. So the only two other libraries I’ve got an affinity for are the ones at my college and grad school. Neither is quite as happy a place in my memories, but I did spend a terrifying number of cumulative hours in them procrastinating and daydreaming while pretending to do research or write papers. I do have slightly nostalgic memories of sleeping on the floor in the basement of Bobst next to a study carousel while pulling all-nighters. Ah, to be young and irresponsible!
And bonus library! My books rarely come from here, but if this isn’t one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, I don’t know what is.
So those are MY libraries. Tell me about yours!