A Reader is Born

File:Tampere library shelves.jpg

“I was born in a library, in the fiction stacks.” -Luanne Rice

I came across this quote by Luanne Rice last week – and I loved it at first sight. My reading skills and soaring imagination were certainly polished by my many visits to the library. One of my early memories is of my mom taking us to the public library a car ride away. I recall the largeness of the space, the silence that echoed among the stacks, the many shelves filled with books: picture books, adult books, and the books in between.

The memory that comes to mind is of the time when I chose Dickens’ story A Tale of Two Cities to take home and read. I remember the thickness of the book, the cream-coloured paper, the scent of the pages as I turned them. I enjoyed the detailed drawings in the novel, and the intricacies of the story. I spent time engrossed in the plot while sitting on my bed, or in a shady part of our garden. I was a young reader at that time and would often forgo playing for travel into the world of the imagination.

Reading, and the many visits to the library, has definitely affected the many aspects of who I am: my sense of imagination; my ability to see in my mind what it is I am reading; the ease with which I currently write (whether for work or for pleasure); my vocabulary; my general knowledge. Would I change this part of me? No. And would I cease to visit those stacks that encourage me to wander into different worlds? I think not.

Within the fiction stacks, a reader was born. And among those shelves of books, a reader will continue to thrive.

musingmondaysDo you spend time among the fiction stacks of a library?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by Luanne Rice’s quote and Miz B’s Musing Mondays)

Advertisements

52 thoughts on “A Reader is Born

  1. Colline. You made me rethink the library. I do go, often, but I am always in a frenzy trying to find just the right book. I usually check 3 or 4 out because I’m never quite sure I’ll be happy with the one I’ve chosen and then I’ll be without. NOOOOOOO!!!! In line with trying to live in the moment, I think it’s time for a trip to the library where I enjoy the experience rather than rush through it. Maybe grab 3 or 4 books, or 6 or 8, sit at the cafe on the first floor and breathe. Thanks, Colline.
    (Today I am trying to bring a little joy into people’s lives by telling them when they’ve passed on some good advice or made me a bit happier on this day. Consider yourself tapped. You have done your good deed for the day.)
    😉

    Like

    1. Thank you for the compliment 🙂
      At times I have no choice but to sit and breathe in the library as my girls sometimes take their time with their choices. I don’t mind, however, as I flip through magazines while I wait or even browse some stacks. Our local library has been renovated and it is very conducive to lingering 🙂

      Like

    1. Glad you liked it Amy. Libraries are places I don`t take for granted as they are not too well equipped in South Africa. The first time I stepped into a library here in Toronto, I thought I was in heaven 🙂

      Like

  2. That’s a wonderful quote–and so true! I spent a lot of time in the library as a child, but not so much now. I tend to do my searching for library books online, put them on hold, and then stop in quickly to pick them up when they’re in. I do miss those “treasure hunting” library days! Here’s a post I wrote about my own library memories if you’d like to take a look–
    http://bookmammalmusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/musing-mondays-library-memories/

    Like

    1. I enjoy hunting online too – it ensures that you can pick up a copy from a library that is not in your local vicinity. Come the school vacation, though, I often find myself wandering the stacks of my local library.

      Like

    1. Whether those stacks are fiction or non-fiction, the sense of calm and tranquility is the same. I can spend many moments browsing the stacks on crafts 🙂

      Like

  3. I loved the library as a child and went often and spent hours looking through the books, I continued the habit with my own children and managed to pick myself up a stack during each visit too although now I rarely go but I never forget how important the library is for all ages.

    Like

    1. Even now our visits to the library require me bringing along my shopping cart because, between my daughters and myself, we take out a heavy amount of books! 🙂

      Like

  4. My reading has flourished over the years, I’m learning so much.
    However, I don’t remember reading much as a child. I would rather play and talk.
    I did have a few favorites, but that was all.
    I missed so much by not reading for learning and enjoyment.

    Like

  5. I too have fond memories of visiting our local library with my mum as a child. I think to be honest I was more in love with looking at, touching and borrowing the books than with actually reading them (We also used to borrow paintings but I don’t think they do this anymore) – still I am sure that this childhood pleasure was the beginnings of my love for reading as an adult. Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂
    My MM: http://daystarz.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/musing-mondays-18/

    Like

  6. Constantly! 🙂 I’m not a Kindle person and rarely spend money on books unless it’s in a charity shop (Oxfam at Durham is a bit like a library with snug seats- a perfect rainy day place) so the library and me are ‘besties’, Colline.
    Isn’t it lovely to have Gemma back, smiling again? 🙂

    Like

    1. I could never do without the library either Jo. The amount I read, buying books only would bankrupt me!
      It is great having Gemma back. I love her gravatar – and she has posted some interesting pieces of art on her blog 🙂

      Like

  7. I used to spend hours in the library when i was younger. Now I have a mobile library that delivers books home….not the same thing at all. Thanks for the memory nudge 🙂

    Like

  8. Libraries are such hallowed spaces. They do welcome all. Well, in some places they do. Whenever I’ve tried to explore the libraries in the Chinese schools I’ve worked at, I’ve been more or less chased out. Certainly looked at with suspicion. I loved the little library in my town in Japan, but felt sorry for people who worked 9 – 5. The library was only opened M – F from 9 to noon and then from 1 to 5.

    I wouldn’t want to live in a place without a good library.

    Like

    1. Me neither as I spend quite a bit of time in them.
      I find it odd that people would be chased out of a library – certainly does not encourage reading among the populace.

      Like

  9. Hi Colline, I think the first visit to a library actually forms a part of our life forever more.
    Our world of imagination and dreams are awakened.
    Heaven for me is a dingy antique bookstore, faded covers with the musty smell of ages and history.
    Books stacked high, threatening to topple, some never been opened for centuries, old authors, now obscure, illustrations depicting times of long ago, edwardian characters, Dickens London coming alive.
    An antique bookstore is a time machine for me.
    Regards
    Ian

    Like

    1. I have never entered an antique book store Ian. What a pleasurable trip back in time that would be. You would certainly catch me thumbing through the pages of a Dickens’ novel or an anthology of Blake’s poetry as I always enjoy looking at the illustrations that they created to go with their writing.

      Like

  10. I envy your master skill in writing. I was never a full-time reader. If I could turn back the time, I wish I started early to really get me interested in it… and improve my reading and writing abilities just like yours. You should be proud of your skills, Colline. It’s awesome that it is what you do.

    Like

  11. I love the library! Fiction transports me to worlds and people and situations I am incapable of even dreaming up, and fills me up with excitement, fear, sleuthing, laughter, tears, wonder, and many other emotions. The craft section helps me translate imagination and pictures to reality and satisfaction. There are so many sections and so many worlds represented, and I am one who loves learning about new things. My library is by no means vast, but I could never claim to run out of things to read there! It is a wonderland!

    Like

    1. You have expressed the joy that I feel every time I step into a library. The thing I love best about a library is that I am able to bring these books home with me for a while 🙂

      Like

Share what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s