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?