This week’s challenge: “I wanted to share some stories about my library experiences and I’d like for you to do so as well.”
This post is a little bit as I didn’t finish it up before I went to the lake this weekend. I wasn’t sure what to write about, but over the weekend I remembered an assignment I had in my first year of university. I wrote a short autobiography about the role of reading and writing in my life. Of course, the library has played a huge role! Here are my earliest library memories, which I wrote about in my assignment:
When I was two and a half, my favourite outing was to the library. I went with my mom at least once every three weeks when the books were due. There were two blue laundry baskets filled with books in the kid’s section at the [Local] Library. One of the baskets was filled with books by Beatrix Potter. I would make my mom sit in one of tiny plastic chairs around the tiny plastic table and then I would go over to the Beatrix Potter basket. I would pile up the books and then rearrange them and then pile them up again. If I got bored, I would go look at the books on the kid-sized shelves. Then I would go back to stacking up the Beatrix Potter books. I was very possessive of that blue basket. I would put my arms around the basket if another kid tried to come near it. I wasn’t mean or rude, though. If somebody really wanted a book, I would pick one out for them and give it to them. I just wouldn’t let them near my basket of books. Sitting by that basket is the earliest memory I have. How fitting that the memory would be about books.
The thing about the Beatrix Potter books is that my mom told me I could only take out two at a time because that was a rule the library had. This was a rule I didn’t like much, but I believed it to be real until I was eight years old and my little sister started taking out Beatrix Potter books (I was far too old for Beatrix Potter at that point). I told her she was only allowed to take out two, but then my mom laughed at me and told me that was a rule she had just made up because she didn’t like reading them to me (She would get my grandma to read them. I should clarify that my mother is very supportive of my reading and writing habits. She just didn’t like Beatrix Potter very much). Even though I was too old for Beatrix Potter, I was still upset that at one point my mom had limited the number of books I was allowed to take out.
Around the time when I was reading Beatrix Potter books, my mother began taking me to a reading group. I can very distinctly recall not enjoying that activity at all. I didn’t see why I had to go into a room full of people and have someone else read a story to me and all those people. I would rather sit with a book on my own and read it, thank-you very much. I never talked during reading group. I didn’t tell my mom I never enjoyed going until I was much older, too old for reading group.
In kindergarten we went to the [Other Local] Library for a field trip. I didn’t have a library card and I thought I wouldn’t be able to take out any books. I cried. Luckily my mom was a volunteer for this field trip and she hurriedly explained to me that I could a sign up for a library card right then and there. I stopped crying and cheerfully signed out a handful of books.