When I close my eyes I can still remember Guildford library(1); as it was when I was a child. The library didn’t just have books, but a fascinating card system which housed the card from the book that subsequently was inserted into a small card folder. When you returned books, you were given round Cardboard discs that you could exchange for books. The books had a stamp inserted in the front, so you knew when to return them. The whole experience was wonderful to my childhood self. Occasionally, the librarian allowed me to stamp out the books, something that just added to the wonderful experience.
Mum would take me to the library frequently, there I could immerse myself in another world. It wasn’t just the library that fed my book habit. Each week I was allowed to choose a new book, from Woolworths or WH Smiths, I still have some of those books, complete in some series with the price ticket of 12p, a lot for the early 1970’s. Before I could read, both my maternal Grandmother and Mum would read to me. We explored the fictional lives of the characters within the pages of Enid Blyton books amongst others, some books read repeatedly. I would fall asleep to dream of the wonders of Rupert the Bear (2), Peter Rabbit (3) or Noddy(4)
When we moved in together, my now husband was horrified at the boxes of books. His face was picture of horror as the boxes filled our home. Over the years since, I have had several book culls, to charity shops and friends. Even now I have way to many books and I am in the middle of the latest cull, much to my husband’s relief. Of course the cull is simply to make room for the several stacks of books that are on my office floor.
Then along came a Kindle, from Amazon. Whilst the whole experience of having a book in your hand is wonderful; the feel and smell of books triggers happy memories, alas they take up space, whereas a Kindle has an invisible electronic room, ready to be filled with books. I only download to my iPad the books I am currently reading, and a few reference type books. I won’t share how many Kindle books there are, but let’s just say I have a substantial “few”.
I have never grown tired of books. If I am not buying books, I am reading books, or adding them to my to be read list. My iPhone’s camera role is filled with images of book covers, saved so I do not forget to check out a book.
You can never have too many books, just too few book cases!
- (1) Guildford is located in Surrey, England
- (2) Rupert the Bear by Mary Tourtel (formerly Caldwell)
- (3) Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- (4) Noddy by Enid Blyton
- (5) Kindle by Amazon
Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 – 10 October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE