Why I Love My Public Library
Some of my fondest childhood memories come from the time I spent at the public library. I clearly remember how excited I felt every time my family had the chance to go. The library’s calm, thoughtful atmosphere always provided a sense of security for me. As I changed houses and schools, made new friends, and learned new things, the public library was my familiar, consistent haven.
As hard as we tried, my sister and I never had enough time to explore all of the wonderful stories waiting for us in the kids’ section. I loved picking out new books, but I never left without picking up a book from my favorite series. I had read them all multiple times, but they never failed to surprise and entertain me. The books were set in the past, but the characters seemed to be just like me. I loved reading about their adventures and wishing I could experience what life must have been like in the 19th century. That series sparked not only my love of books, but my love of history. My love for that series influenced the course of my entire life of reading.
In elementary school, I went through a big change where my sister and I switched schools in the middle of the year. All of a sudden, I was in a room of kids I had never met before, and they had grown up together. I felt out of place and struggled to learn how to navigate my new class. The best part of my new school and new house was that they were much closer to my library. Even though everything was different, the library remained the same. I knew exactly where to go to find new books, new movies, new music, and, of course, my favorite series. With access to my favorite place, I was reassured that everything would be okay.
As I grew up, I ventured out of the kids’ section and discovered the young adult novels. I quickly found some of my favorite books in that section as well. In middle school, I read books that were so intriguing, I absolutely needed to stay up until two in the morning to finish them. I made new friends and had new experiences, but the best part of my week was going to the library where I felt the most like myself. I always made sure to check if my favorite books still sat neatly on their shelf. My biggest fear was not finding them in the library anymore. But they were always there, a faithful reminder of some of my happiest times.
In high school, reading took a backseat for me. I began reading for school a lot more, and soon I had no time to read for myself. My reading consisted mostly of textbooks and required reading novels. Thankfully, I enjoyed most of the novels I read for school. But I missed having time to investigate the public library for my next reading adventure. When I did have the time to read, I found a few great books, but I could not manage to finish all of the books I wanted. After a long day of academic reading, I was tired. There were few books that caught my attention long enough for me to finish them at this point. Still, I tried to visit the library, even if it was just to sit and enjoy the atmosphere.
The time came to leave for college, and I said good bye to my friends and my hometown. College brought even less time for reading, and I had a hard time keeping my eyes open while reading for my classes. Someone who had never met me before college might have said I hated reading. But I just could not find anything I wanted to read. Nothing peaked my interest.
However, my favorite childhood series maintained its spot in my heart. One day, I finally found them in a store in the Quad Cities. The store didn’t have all of the books in the series, but I bought all of the books they had. I hadn’t been this excited about books in years, and I carefully stored my newest prized possessions.
Finally buying my favorite books brought back all of my memories of the library and the joy that surrounded it. I hope to spend more time there this summer and find my love of reading yet again. Still, it’s comforting to know that no matter how long it’s been, the library will always be a reminder of my best memories.