Thursday, 21 August 2008

Booking Through Thursday

This week's BTT:

"What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have you any funny/odd memories of the library?"

I lived in Tanzania until I was eleven so didn't really have access to a municipal library as such during that stage of my life. The only library I can remember visiting was when I stayed with my Grandparents, who also lived in Tanzania at that point, and Granny would take us to the library at the school she taught in. The choice of books was pretty limited but it was very, very much appreciated and a welcome break from reading the dated books my aunts and uncles had left behind as they moved out! The Bobbsey Twins, anyone?

Granny would also arrange for us to visit her friends houses and use their bookshelves as informal libraries - and I still remember my horror when I accidentally ripped a page in one. To make up for the lack of book access, my mother used to buy books from the only second-hand bookshop in Dar Es Salaam and ration them out to me to make them last. She used to hide them around the house, generally too high up to reach, so that if I rooted them out I couldn't actually get to them. I'm pretty sure I've still got some of those books boxed up in my attic and it'd be fun to dig them out again.

I was also generally allowed to choose a handful of my own books when we returned to the UK on leave and would always ensure that they were either very fat or omnibus editions to make the most of the opportunity! I wonder if this experience of not being able to get my hands on books has contributed to my "need" to own far too many books as an adult... Quite possibly.

As a teenager the library was more of a place to pretend to revise in whilst really peeking at BOYS from behind my under-used text books. I should explain that I attended an all-girl school so this was quite exciting. My University Library was situated all too near a nice pub so it was more of a meeting point for like-minded people who were full of good intentions but with no real application.

In 1994 Norwich library caught on fire and was gutted so I never learned to rely on it as a source of reading material post-Uni when I was skint enough to have done so. It's since been rebuilt and now forms part of The Forum building and I do use it occasionally however not as much as I should! Perhaps I'll pop in today and borrow some books from my "to buy" list in honour of this post.

5 comments:

The Holistic Knitter said...

Great memories..your mum was clever!
My answer is here:
http://lyndasbookblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/booking-through-thursday-21808.html

Bluestocking said...

Wow that made me realize how much I take for granted.

Smilingsal said...

You were given a gift--the love of reading. So was I.

gautami tripathy said...

Library catching fire is so tragic.

Library memories

Shannon at Confuzzled Books said...

I have heard of The Bobbsey Twins. I never read them myself but I think they reprint them every once and a while don't they.