I spent the Memorial Day weekend at home with my dad in Ithaca. Oh, the delight of eating at all my old favorite places (I still can't find a burrito better than the Super Basic at Viva Taqueria), and going to graduation parties (the grad is going to Hawaii for "Teach for America"!).

I adore my home town and it was nice how little had changed--and any changes I did see were for the better.

The best surprise was realizing it was the final weekend of our "Friends of the Library" book sale! I love, love the book sale.

On the final weekend, books are dirt cheap. This was both good and bad, only because I know how desperately our library needs money and in buying five books, I only spent 95 cents. But I did snag my very own first edition of Laura Kinsale's FLOWERS FROM THE STORM!

Anyway, this all got me thinking about how much I love libraries, and how important they were to my childhood. At the rate I read, I would have bankrupted my parents if they'd had to buy every book. I once took out the entire bottom shelf (19 books!) of Nancy Drew.

Without books, I wouldn't have won Pizza Hut's "Book It!" Challenge every year--a prize I enjoyed more for the holographic pin than the pizza. My local public libraries were a vital part of my childhood and a large part of what turned me into such an active book-buyer as I grew up.

What are your favorite library memories? What do libraries mean to you and/or you family?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Juliana Stone said:

Esi, we truly are cut from the same cloth! LOL, I grew up on a farm out in the country and for me, Saturday trips into town were exciting because I could go to the library. Nancy Drew books were inhaled. In fact the first one I ever read, was The Secret of Shadow Ranch. I chose it because of the horse on the cover. sigh....I still enjoy my library but it's not the same as the one I used to go to when I was small! Glad to see you had a wonderful long weekend!

12:45 PM  

Blogger Gin said:

Oh, I do love the Ithaca Library booksale. I was also there this past weekend and spent a total of $5.30 on an armful of books. For a quarter per paperback, I indulge in authors and titles that I would normally pass by.

As for my home library, I'm there almost every week. There's something about wandering through the stacks, not knowing what you'll find. It's a relatively small library, but it's part of a regional system so the online catalog is my good friend. And, yes, I do support the library... mostly through overdue fines.

8:38 PM  

Blogger Erika said:

My fondest library memory was when I checked out Wifey by Judy Blume and the librarian never even batted an eyelash. I was 13 at the time.

8:49 PM  

Anonymous Vicki said:

You all do a librarian's heart good! Thanks for the library love.

9:23 AM  

Blogger ESI said:

@Erika: Oh, I definitely had librarians like that. They are the best.

Speaking of librarian love, check out Library Love Fest: harperlibrary.typepad.com

12:08 PM  

Anonymous Toni Blake said:

Hey Esi! Oh, how I LOVE Flowers From the Storm. Ah - makes me sigh just to think of it! And my best library memories are that I was fortunate enough to work at my local library one summer after high school and I ADORED just being there with all those books. I did a lot of work on the summer reading program for kids that year and also did some projects in the library's genealogy section, which started a lifelong love of genealogy for me, too.

4:17 PM  

Blogger Treethyme said:

Anna Campbell has been converting me to historicals, and Flowers from the Storm was at the top of her list. It's in my TBR pile now but I haven't gotten to it yet.

I LIVED in libraries when I was young because I come from a big family and there wasn't money for books. When we first moved to Elk Grove Village, Illinois, the library was in a model house for awhile. I was about eight years old when I first visited, and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I loaded up with Nancy Drew books, and started a reading habit that has continued to grow with each passing year. (Hence the dangerously large TBR pile.)

10:28 AM  

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