Going to the library for me is a connection to my childhood and to my sweet Daddy. When I was in about 8th grade, my Dad was attending the local community college and often on weekends he would have to go to the library to study and do research. I lived in a big city and the main library downtown is where we always went. It was huge, and I was allowed to go to the floor where the kid’s books were while he was studying. All by myself!
I remember first walking in to the lobby of the library – the soft sounds all around.
People whispering; someone would occasionally laugh and it would echo.
The distinct smell of volumes of paper on the shelves, and of lemon oil that was used to polish the tables.
And, of course, being the princess that I was – oh heck, who am I kidding? The princess that I still AM in his eyes – ha! But I digress a bit…being the princess that I was, I was rarely told no and when he came to get me so we could go home, invariably I asked to check out a stack of books – the maximum I could check out, which I think was 8. He knew I would never read them all. And of course he was right. There were times when I wouldn’t even get one completely read before it was time to take them all back. But to have them, to hold them, to look and touch, feel and smell them…it was all part of the entire experience of “reading” to me.
I think back on those days and I wonder if that had anything to do with the fact that I LOVE to read now. Is it possible that just the smell - just the feel - of the pages of a book can make someone an avid reader?
I wonder how kids today feel about going to the library and being allowed to choose books and take them home to read? Do parents even still take their kids to the library? From the looks of my local small town library, the answer isn’t very positive, and that makes me sad.
I wonder if the age of technology is gradually destroying any kind of love or respect or even desire for real paper-and-ink, bound books? I mean, even the Pastors at my church are using their iPad or their iPhone to read the Word from!
Will my grandchildren know what a “book” is? Will they know what a "library" is?
Will the library shelves be empty?
I pray not, because God willing, this is what I want to look like with my grandchildren...