Written by Sarah Battersby, Triangle Community Foundation
I vividly remember receiving my first official library card, around age 6 or 7—it meant I could check out my OWN books and didn’t have to wait for my mom to check them out for me. That library card stayed with me for many years, and I’ve never been without once since; joining a library is one of the first things I do when moving to a new community. Pre-COVID, I loved visiting the library weekly, and I greatly miss it.
My love affair with reading and libraries started early; even before I could read, I would flip the pages in books and make up stories to go with them. After I learned to read, I often checked out mountains of books and was never without a pile next to my bed (during COVID, I caved and bought my first e-reader, but I made sure it connected to the library e-book system!). I got in trouble for reading under my desk in school, reading at night when I was supposed to be sleeping, reading during recess, reading at dinner.
In the 3rd grade I was featured in the local paper for reading so much; you may (correctly) assume that this did not make me super popular. It will probably not surprise anyone to learn that I was an English major in college—my whole major was about reading books! (But if I have to read Tess of the D’urbervilles one more time, I don’t know what I will do). As an adult, I’ve kept up my love of reading—I was even at the library stocking up on books when I went into labor with my daughter; the visiting pediatrician was a little surprised to find “Midnight in Chernobyl” by my bedside in the hospital, to say the least.
Reading has been a huge comfort during this time; I live in a small apartment, but I’ve been able to escape to all sorts of towns, cities, countries—where no one has to wear a mask! (A fact that I sometimes find stressing me out—what are they thinking going to that large gathering so casually??) I’ve also enjoyed re-reading some of my childhood favorites, including Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and Matilda by Roald Dahl; comparisons between Ms. Trunchbull and 2020 could be drawn. Now I love reading to my daughter; she just turned one and is very much into lift-the-flap books about dinosaurs. We both look forward to the end of the month, when we get her new Imagination Library book in the mail. I can’t wait to take her to her first library story time.
Hopefully we will all see each other again at the library soon!