Big wooden doors. The smell of paper, the sound of shoes walking across a hardwood floor. Glass divider windows and books everywhere. My first ventures into the Greenville Public Library.
My mother loved books, but our children’s books in the playroom were mostly given to us by aunts and grandmothers. Books of gardens and birds. Prayer books. Music books. Books of bunnies hiding in watering cans and three bears eating porridge. Books now tattered and torn by the years of children thumbing through them.
Perhaps the best and most exciting introduction of books in my life came from the Bookmobile. I still remember standing outside Franklin School, waiting to climb up the steps leading to the books. Rows of books just waiting for an eager child. The library came calling.
I love to read. Receiving a Kindle did not minimize my desire to hold a paper book in my hands. I am never without a pile of books next to my bed and a book in the car. Books. They widen our world and entertain. They inform us and raise our curiosity. Most of all, they inspire us.
As a grandma, I am drawn to books for my grandchildren. The art attracts me most. I am not so sure whether I buy them for me or for the kids. When looking back at the books we girls received as children, I know that they, too, were purchased with the artwork in mind.
On May 10, 2011, I wrote an article about a little book called “Jolly Jingles.” The book has been well loved by a little girl with long, bouncing curls. The poem I wrote about was called “Once a leopard saw his spots, lots and lots and lots and lots.” In my blog, A Grandparent’s Voice, it has been viewed 428 times. It has been read by men and women trying to find a bit of their pasts. Books that we carry in our memories.
We Loxley girls were fortunate that Mom saved our books. Of course, every kid in the neighborhood shared them as well, but, in the end, they were ours.
I can still smell the books and hear the shoes click clacking across the hardwood floor. I think I will stop by the Greenville Public Library when I get back that way. Maybe I will see you there.