Friday, May 13, 2022



A few days ago I was multitasking (translation:  watching TV and scrolling through old photos at the same time), and I came across this photo of a Bookmobile. Although this Bookmobile doesn't look exactly like the one I remember from my childhood, this photo did trigger a flood of memories.

How I looked forward to those trips to the bookmobile! It parked on the corner of our street, in a location that interestingly became home to an actual bricks-and-mortar library building many decades later.  Ours was the third house from the corner, and out the front door we would go, Mother and I, to walk up to the bookmobile. And then we would walk back home, my arms loaded with all the books I could carry. It was an absolute delight!

Eventually our town got our own branch of the Spartanburg County Library. It was a very small building, not much larger than an average bedroom, and was open two afternoons a week.....Tuesday and Saturday.  Mrs. Christopher was the Librarian. She sat behind a table by the door and stamped due dates onto that little white flap glued into the back of the book. The Children's Section was just to the right of the front door. It was there that I formed friendships with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden and the Bobbsey Twins.  Where I got to know people like Florence Nightingale and George Washington Carver and Julie Lowe and Clara Barton and Benjamin Franklin. Where Louisa May Alcott became a favorite author. It is quite likely that I read every book on those shelves at least once!  

I also spent some time in Mysteries and Westerns. These were for my granddaddy, who lived with us part of the year. He was confined to his room as a result of multiple strokes, but he loved to read mysteries and westerns. Twice a week I went to the library and got our books. If I ever made the mistake of getting him a book he had already read, he let me know it! The town now has a beautiful library building, full of wonderful books and magazines and computers. But my memories of the Landrum Library always go to that little building from my childhood, and even earlier to those trips to the bookmobile.

Over the years I have had opportunity to spend time in many libraries. When I was a little girl I often visited my second cousin Anne Sevier, who taught English at Winthrop College (now Winthrop University). While Anne was teaching, she would drop me off at the college library and leave me in the care of Miss Schinn, the College Librarian. That library has moved from building to building over the years, but my memories take me back to what I think is now known as the Rutledge quiet whispers, big library tables with uncomfortable wooden chairs, and to a children's section on the first floor, back corner on the right, with more books than were housed in the entire Landrum Library!  I remember sitting in the floor, surrounded by books, complete oblivious to anything that might be going on around me. That continues to happen to this day when there's a good book in my hand!

One of my favorite things about libraries, and book stores as well, other than the obvious - books! - is the smell. I love the smell of that many books all in the same confined space. Call me crazy, but there it is.......I love the smell of books! I love the feel of a book in my hand. I love the sound of pages turning - quietly, mind you. I don't like the sound of pages being "flipped"!  It seems disrespectful to the book.  (Again, go ahead, call me crazy!) But the smell is my favorite......I love that!

The thing I love even more is the combination of smells at places like Barnes and Noble. Books and coffee together. Two of my very favorite things. An absolute delight to my senses.

There was a time I thought I would no longer have the joy of reading. Following my stroke several years ago, I had to learn to read and write again. And even after I did, for a time reading was more stress than pleasure. Thankfully, over time, it has once again become something I enjoy. And although I now read much more slowly than I once did, I still often am reading more than one book at a time. Multitasking!

This week I finished one book and started a couple more.
  • The Catch by Lisa Harris is the 3rd and finally book in the US Marshalls series. Harris is a great writer of “romantic suspense”, and The Catch was a great read. I love a good mystery, and this one fills the bill.
  • I have just begun reading Where the Road Bends by Rachel Fordham. I have only read a few pages, but I think I’m going to enjoy this one.
  • And I pulled an old book of my book shelf to read again. I’m looking forward to slowly and prayerfully rereading A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
When these are finished, there will be more good books to take their place. I always have a pretty extensive “want to read” list. Always multitasking! Always a book nearby.

Today is a definitely a good day for some multitasking. No appointments. Nothing but laundry on my agenda. A good day for two of my favorite things. Coffee and a good book. 

"I cannot live without books." - Thomas Jefferson

No comments:

Post a Comment