06 June 2007

Facing a phobia

An old library from the past?







Recently Dear Eldest Grand-daughter celebrated her 14th Birthday. She and I had a lovely day of shopping and lunching and visiting the Library.

She is an avid reader, author, actress and musician and wanted to collect some CD's that she had on hold at the Library. She has been trying to talk me into joining the Library for some time now. I timidly walked in and it was full of happy people, some chatting, some reading, some looking up information on the computer. I soon began to relax and she showed me round and taught me how to use the computer reference. She explained to me that the reference Library was upstairs and things were quieter there, so people could study.

To many people visiting the Library is a common occurrence. Not to me! I now realise that have had a phobia of Libraries since I was very young!!

My earliest memory of a library is an ugly place at the back of our local Hall in the small town where I grew up. I can vaguely remember my Mum and I walking there (we didn't have a car) and she would spend hours (well it seemed like hours) choosing books. I can just remember lots of high shelves lined with dark, ugly books and a place where there were few people and no-one was allowed to speak out loud. Everything was in whispers. Nothing sinister happened to me there, but I hated the place!

Some years later a more modern library was set up in a small brick building in the corner of our local park. Mum and I still walked there. There was a tiny section of children's books - I had no interest in them. My Mum was an avid reader. She absolutely "ate" books. I just wanted to get out of there!

Our school library also did nothing to inspire me. My college library contained study rooms where we could go in small groups and "study" (well chat and giggle mainly).

When I read books now, I do so very quickly. Reading is not really an enjoyment to me. It is something that is done as quickly as possible for a purpose. Don't get me wrong - I like to read a well written book - I just read hundreds of pages in a day.

Isn't it strange how episodes from our childhood can have so much impact on our lives?!! Now I have finally faced my fear, I may just join the Library!

13 comments:

Zanna said...

Isn't interesting how long gone experiences can shape your life? I'm an absolute library lover - I read constantly and always have a book less than an arms length away - that's how I avoid stress - escape to another world. And since I'm such a voracious reader - the library saves me from going bankrupt!
Loved the word portrait you painted though.

2paw said...

I love reading and I could never afford now to buy all the books I read. I would read AT LEAST a book a day, sometimes 3 or 4!! I loved going to the Libray. Our school was small so we all walked to the local Library once a week and when I was 11 my dad arranged for an adult card so I could borrow more and better books. I always have 10 books on hold and I am always requesting that they buy books I like. I love the Library!! I do most things online and just pop in to pick up and return. Very non threatening: you must join!!!

Living to Feel Good said...

:) I'm glad your grand daughter could help you conquer a fear of yours.

Our local library just reopened after 3 years of being remodeled. It looks beautiful from the outside. I really should go inside and check it out.

your daughter said...

As I remember it, Grandma did take a long time to choose books, so I can understand the issue there! Ordering online is so cool; books, CDs and so on. And I have a person who will be happy to pick them up for you!!

Wanna_B_slim said...

I know what you mean about the library.. as a child I felt like it was a creepy place too...
but i dont mind so much now.. But I tend to just buy my books at markets and garage sales.. otherwise i forget that they should be returned to the library by a certain date and get fined....arghhhhhh
The kids love the library..might put that on the list of things to do next week.... Or come to think of it.. maybe tomorrow...

Julie's journey said...

Since deciding that I really didnt need to own anymore books (there are exceptions to this rule) I have used my local library. I go into Borders or look at the book reviews in the paper and then go online to my library and reserve the book in question. It saves me money which can only be a good thing. I must admit it is not a place that I would choose to hang out in but I do remember the local library of my youth was a vital part of my teenage years social scene. Join and enjoy. They have music, DVDS - the list seems endless.
By the way it was a beautifully written piece.
xxoot

ombites (mary) said...

I used to love libraries but now find them too stuffy. What I do love is going to bookshops though and spending hours in there until I find the perfect book to purchase for the day. I'm a quick reader too and I get a bit annoyed when I finish too quickly.

Doug Bagley said...

Hey Suzy,
I'm expecting my first grandchild in Dec. Any tips?

White Rose Boy said...

Your description of the library of your youth totally matches my recollection of what these places where like.
I don't think I've visited since my school days although recently a Free library membership card came through the door and I've been tempted to give it a try. Apparently the've come a long way.

Leighanne said...

Congratulations on facing a fear - imagine all the craft books you will borrow now:)

Jenny said...

Strange how some things from our childhood can have such a hold on us. I have fond memories of the library as a child. I loved going and losing myself in the aisles. Our suburban library was quite large and they would hold film days during the school holidays. I would often walk down to spend time there. Nowadays I wouldn't even let child walk that far!! Mind you nowadays, I am not that fussed in libraries. I have found they have become drop in centres for people who have no better place to go. It's a nice air conditioned or heated place to visit!!! I only go when I am really short on money, otherwise I love to buy my books online, or share around books with girlfriends. I love reading - it's such a great escape and learning tool.

jen said...

I have always loved libaries and books...the school library was my favourite room there. Books are still a huge part of my life.

Jen

chickychriss said...

I loved reading your library post! Good luck with taking those steps and joining the library..