mayakittenreads: (GirlReading)
I got inspired by a blog post by Erika from the Verity! podcast... so here are my memories of libraries.

Libraries were part of my life growing up, but perhaps not as much as some people. Mostly, I think, because there were always a lot of books in the house, between the large collection of picture books (it's still epic and now Mum has grandchildren to read them to), Dad's library of theology, science fiction & fantasy and Mum's classics and mysteries. I read and re-read Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, LM Montgomery, Tolkien and CS Lewis. Between my brothers and I as teens we ended up with a large collection of Star Wars novels and I always had stacks of Tamora Pierce and Baby-Sitters Club. We were also big re-readers, so we were often quite happy with what we had. But there are things I definitely remember about libraries (and there were a lot, as we moved regularly).

In primary school in Heywood, I remember regularly visiting the rows of BSC and Sweet Valley books in the public library. My friends and I were big BSC readers. But I also remember my brothers and I wearing out the library copies of The Muddle Headed Wombat & The Animals of Farthing Wood on cassette tape. Snugglepot & Cuddlepie as well, I think. We could listen happily for hours. I can also remember borrowing a Kylie Minogue cassette in one of my early forays into pop music.

We were in Oatlands, a very small country ton for my tweens and early teens. I remember the local library had a copy of the abridged novelisation from The Return of the Jedi illustrated with stills from the film. My brothers and I would borrow that and the Asterix & TinTin comics constantly. My most distinct memory of the school library was a book called Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman. I read it multiple times... goodness, I've not thought of that book in a while. I wonder if it's on Kindle?

Most of my other library memories are related to Glenorchy City Library through my late teens and early twenties. I didn't visit often, but it had much of the books I already liked as well as a great deal more. In particular was Monica Seles' early autobiography, which I have never found anywhere else.. and I'm always looking.

I am a member of the local library here in Canberra, but my TBR shelf is so huge and my reading time so variable that I rarely use it, though it was a great comfort when I first moved up, having had to leave many books that technically belonged to my mother behind. I did get hold of the Tiptree bio there last year though. So it's always handy to know where the libary card is!


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