I still remember the first time I visited the little library in my small home town. At six years old, I felt that it was a vast treasure-filled cave, and as I sat in the carpeted children’s corner with the rest of my class, I spent much of my time simply gazing around, slack-jawed and starry eyed.
There was no grandeur as such, the building being a modern, average ceilinged, purpose built affair. But it had several rows, filled with all kinds of books, which I noted when wandering around were labelled things like ‘historical fiction’ and ‘cookery’ and ‘art’…almost immediately the idea of growing up and being able to understand the contents of these sacred shelves, especially those bearing fictional works, became cemented as a primary goal of my existence.
Before I could make that leap, though, directly opposite the children’s shelves was an area tantalisingly marked ‘teenage and adolescent fiction’, a stepping stone to achieving my primary goal.
Where we sat, colourful illustrations and large, easy-page turners were of course order of the day. When we all got to select a book to read, I picked an Asterix comic, which was the start of my first experience of being ‘a fan’ of something.
Towards the end of our introduction to this magnificent place, the kindly librarian stood next to our teacher and asked, “Does anybody know how much it costs to join this library and borrow books for six weeks? You have to bring them back of course…”
Lots of guesses abounded, I think ending with mine – “One penny?”
When the librarian beamed at us all and said, “Nope – it’s completely free!” I was absolutely astounded. This was it. The cherry on top of a wondrous, library-shaped cake. As a young immigrant caught between two worlds, I had come home at last…
So I passed that Very Important Exam I was sitting in December (yay!) and, perhaps foolishly, have decided to sit the next exam of my training earlier rather than later (both options were available to me) – hence the delay in the last couple of posts.
Yeah, so I continue to jump through hoops for my day job rather than focus as well as I should on writing but my idea is if I can get the jumping out of the way (although it can become endless…) I will be able to relax a little.
Anyway, let’s see!
So a major weakness of mine (I believe) is describing settings so that they feel real. A strength (again, IMHO) is conversation between characters. So above, I’ve tried to concentrate on the former – trying, of course, to tread the line between atmospheric and too wordy. Let me know if it worked and if not, how to improve 🙂
Inspired by fact, much like this post.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂
p.s. My partner has just informed me librarians everywhere (in the UK at least) apparently give the same talk. This does not make the memory from which I am drawing inspiration any less beautiful. Ahem.