Oh hello lovely librarians,
I was always told, quite clearly, that books were a child’s greatest treasure. I knew it because my grandfather had sold encyclopedias and we had been ceremoniously gifted volumes A-K before he became a paint can salesman instead. But the best part about books was that you could gain all the wealth simply by borrowing them. On long, dark winter days, my sisters and I would bundle up and trudge out across the snowy field that separated our townhouse from our local public library.
We’d quietly nose around for the latest in the series we were reading, and sprawl there on the carpet with coats and mittens and hats soon shed all around because we’d stayed so long. It was there that I learned that I could be anywhere in the world in an instant, and that the distance from the Pembina Trails Library in Winnipeg of the prairies, to the library of ancient Alexandria was just a book away.
Each time I borrowed the library’s copy of my favorite children’s magazine, I would read it with the expectation that I was being led into adulthood by literature itself. At age 5, I explained it to my parents: “I know how it goes! First Chickadee magazine. Then Owl magazine. Then The Atlantic!” Ahhh, sweet pretention. I came by it naturally.
The library was my haven and my world-expander, with the librarian as my trusted guide. Thank you for all you do for children to love and nurture their development so that they, too, can say: “the wealth of the world is somehow mine.”
My book, No Cure For Being Human, is about realizing that your life is not always a series of choices, but that there is beauty and truth to be found. But first we have to give up on the idea that we are infinite…and that there will ever be enough. Perhaps that’s the lesson I first learned from books: we will always want more.
Grateful for all you do.