Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Long Ago...


In a recent post I was whining (yes, whining…) about my temporary inability to concentrate. Hence, no great news flashes from my corner.

Guy from Astoria Oregon Rust suggested that I, “…write about the young you. Tell us about growing up, things you discovered, mistakes you've made...”

Well, I’m not going into the mistakes I’ve made — you don’t kick a woman when she’s down — but I did give some thought to that “young me.” I came up with a few defining moments in my life. Not necessarily scintillating news but, nonetheless, interesting. (To me.)

Here’s one:

At the age of ten I had finished reading every book worth reading in the children’s section of our local library. We’re talking many years ago — no “tween” section. We’re also not talking a huge library — but still.

(The above picture is of the actual library – it actually extended quite far back.)

The two dear, elderly librarians insisted I get written parental permission to enter the big, bad ADULT section. No problem. My parents encouraged my reading with minimal interference.

I can still remember entering that inner sanctum. I swear, it even smelled differently from the children’s section. (Now that I think about it, of course it did. Children can be smelly little beings.)

And it was ENORMOUS. More books than I could possibly imagine reading. To me, that was wealth and treasure.

It was years before I could sneak out books such as Valley of the Dolls past the watchful eyes of those two ladies. But on the plus side, they considered me their little protégé and took the time to make marvelous recommendations. The library was a source of wonder and fascination. I traveled to other worlds and gained lasting knowledge as to the human experience. The joy and solace that can be found in words has never left me.

So, there you have it. The origins or beginnings of Bookish Beth.

Small wonder I ended up with a blog entitled BooksEtc.

(Thanks, Guy. It was fun revisiting that ten year old child.)

22 comments:

Attila The Mom said...

Fabulous! That happened to me in elementary school. The librarian arranged for me to go next door to the junior high to use the library.

Librarians are great, aren't they?

Mike M said...

Enjoyed reading this blog very much. I will be back for more -0-0-

Beth said...

attila:
Such book keeners we were!
I often wonder why I didn't become a librarian.

mike:
Glad to hear you enjoyed it - I'll be checking out yours.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, mistakes aren't bad. Remember there is a formula: tradgedy plus time equals comedy.

Mustafa Şenalp said...

çok güzel bir siteniz var.

Beth said...

guy:
Perhaps a little more time regarding some of those mistakes?

Diesel said...

I remember that formula from the Woody Allen movie where Alan Alda plays an idiot movie director who says it.

I remember loving to go to our little public library (I actually typed 'libary' first) and check out Hardy Boys books.

Beth said...

diesel:
I think we all started out pronouncing it "libary."
And most of us have fond memories of those "libaries..."

oreneta said...

One of the things that I miss here is the library experience. The kids are still excited to go, event though there are only about ten books they can read. When we get back from Canada, they are going to each take out about 30 books, and so will I.

We'll be the ones with the panel van backed up to the door....

Beth said...

oreneta:
Go for it! Feed the soul!
And hit a few used books stores before you go back.

Princess Pointful said...

Sounds like me as well...
Not that the "adult" books I read were especially good. I remember hiding V.C. Andrews books in my closet!

Dorky Dad said...

Wow. You remind me of my wife. She was like that, though I don't think she emptied out a library. she just read in the bathroom all the time.

Beth said...

princess pointful:
Any adult book was a thrill back then...

dorky dad:
You're lucky your wife doesn't read your comments elsewhere with you giving away "secrets" like that - or does she??

RC said...

how fun...

i loved going to the library as a kid...but i think i stayed in the kid section to long and got discouraged at first when i jumped to the big stuff (i mean, i was used to reading like 3 kids books a day...these adult novels took time)

Beth said...

rc:
I forgot about that part - but it really didn't take long to learn to enjoy books that lasted more than a few hours!

tracey said...

What a terrific memory. I love when memories can pull up all those thoughts, smells and wonderous things like little old librarians! What a blessing those ladies were, eh?

Beth said...

tracey:
Those ladies were quite the blessing - they ended up giving me my first job! What a great place to work.

Beth said...

ya know, I love to read. and I only have one boy who likes to read. I can't imagine NOT reading. I read everything I can get my hands on.

that is a cool little library. quaint. love it.

how ya feeling?

Nomad said...

Hi Beth,

What a lovely idea, and what a sweet post.

Glad you are on the road to recovery!!

Beth said...

beth:
Feeling pretty good - but big time bored.
"Take it slowly" - yeah, yeah..

nomad:
Howdy, stranger!
Glad to see you're "back."

patricia said...

Wonderful story. And I LOVE that 'libary'. You were one smart cookie, even back then. (Notice I didn't say WAAAAY back then, hmmm? I should get bonus points for that!)

I loved signing out books at our library in Burlington, but you know what? I was TERRIFIED of the librarians. Never asked for help, never said a word to them. Wish I had! But all grown-up authority figures scared the daylights out of me, and librarians ranked up pretty darn high!

Beth said...

patricia:

Bonus points?? You ended up saying "way back when" anyway!

You wouldn't have been afraid of these ladies - they loved kids and let us all know it.