Thursday, August 1, 2013

Passionate About Books

I have been in love with books and reading my entire life, I think.  As long as I can remember, anyway.

At some point, right before I learned how to read, I was obsessed with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  My dad would read to me every night at bedtime, and I think there must have been a phase when I made him read Snow White EVERY NIGHT.  I do remember that the book we had was falling apart.  Years later, when he would tell me that story (he's a natural storyteller), he would always end it with, "I was so happy when you learned how to read!"  Yea, reading the same story over and over and OVER can be a bit much!

My sister taught me how to read.  I was 4 1/2 or so.  I remember the excitement of it clicking, and then the frustration of reading The Three Little Pigs to my mom and not being believed that I was actually reading the story and not just reciting it from memory.  She finally believed my sister and me when I read the back of a box of laundry detergent.

I grew up in a house of readers.  It wasn't always books - magazines and newspapers were all over the place, too.

Libraries have always been a place of joy to me.  Dad would take me every other week.  He'd disappear into the magazine room, and I'd wander to the children's section, emerging only after I had an armful of books to take home.  This was our tradition for years.  My idea of the perfect day, when I was 10 years old or so, was to spend the entire day in the library,  reading and wandering the stacks, going across the street to the donut shop for a snack, and then heading back to the library.

Now, years later, I'm a librarian.  How lucky am I?  Getting to spend my work days in a place that doesn't feel like work.  A building of books and various media, talking to people about books, ordering books, cataloging books, and working with some really amazing people.

Libraries have definitely changed since I was a kid.  I remember NEVER speaking above a whisper.  Now, libraries (well, mine, anyway) aren't quiet places.  Libraries are community gathering places.  People meet, talk, make friends, share.  They are VERY social places.  Being a librarian is a very social profession.

So, to those of you who tire of hearing me talk about books and talk about my job, well, it's a big part of who I am.  I AM passionate about books and libraries.  AND, books and libraries ARE NOT always solitary pursuits.  They can be, and sometimes I need the quiet and to curl up with just a book for company.  But there's nothing like the connection you make with someone who has read the same book and is just dying to talk to someone about it!

I feel very fortunate to be passionate about something and very fortunate that it has been a life long passion.