Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers
I don’t spend enough time at the library. Today I have just about an hour while the kids are at their camps, so I decided to go to my local library.
I walked in, paid the fine for my overdue Guys and Dolls DVD (which the kids didn’t even watch yet… so we’ll have to take that out again. . . ) and then stopped and looked. I could go straight into the bright and cheery children’s section, or up the stairs to the adult section. I only paused for a moment, but it was a tough decision. Whenever we do venture to the library, it is always to the children’s section, and I often yearn for the quiet of the adult library. But, I want to write and all of my current works in progress are children’s books. I imagined myself with a stack of mentor texts and editing inspiration. But the quiet lure of the upstairs library won.
Upstairs, I was faced with another choice. To the left was the young adult section. That’s where my 6th-grade teacher heart wanted to go. But, all my kids are at camp, and I’m an adult so I turned right.
I used to work in a library. It was a quiet job, shelving books. I thought about those days as I walked through a few of the bookshelves, looking for the right table. When I was 15, working as a page, I longed to read the books I was shelving. Sometimes I’d sneak a few minutes behind a shelf and read a chapter or two. My biggest dream though was to check out patrons’ books at the circulation desk. Now they have scanners and self check-out computers so I will never get the satisfaction of putting the library card and checkout card in the machine and hearing that “ch-chunk.”
But, at least I can sit in the library, and listen to the quiet, the sound of my laptop keys as I type, and the intermittent sounds of people picking up books, flipping pages to decide if that will be their next read. I can open my works in progress and wonder if one day I’ll have a book on one of those shelves. I can risk a little hope that one day a young library page is shelving my book and decides to sneak behind the stacks to read a few pages.
3 thoughts on “A (late) Slice #amwriting”
Late, but you made it. I missed it this week! I liked your description of all that lured you as you came to each section of the library. I was a student helper in the library in elementary school. I remember the card catalogue and handwritten and rubber stamped cards in pockets in the back of books.
How fun was the part where you had that internal struggle over going to the adult section? I would kind of be the same (not gonna lie). I too find my place, my heart, and my instinct is to gravitate to youth fiction and young adult fiction. I loved your explanation of how you used to scour the selections at the circulation desk. I find kids at school do that as an actual strategy for choosing a book.
Fun read! Thanks!
I really enjoyed reading your slice. Loved those last lines!