This blog is basically about how good books are nice and bad books are the pits. And then I get grumpy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How I find books

When I was a little girl in grade school, my class would take one class period a week to visit the school library, a sunny big, open beautiful room run by a nun who was lovely and taught reading and who always got my name wrong. It was a great place. After all, 'that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet' so, really, I don't remember the name thing really bothering me a lot.

This lovely library was staffed by volunteers mothers who would check out books to us kids. We would file out of our homerooms, half of the class at a time, for half a class period. Then we'd peruse, we'd read, we'd mingle a bit and borrow a book. Instead of library cards, we had sheets of paper on which we wrote the name and authors of the books we read and then we'd give a rating: poor, fair, good, or excellent, if I am not mistaken.

I'd love to see one of these sheets again. Who would have thunk back then the value a grown-up me would see in these reading records.

I was so soft-hearted that I had a great aversion to the 'poor' rating. For me, 'fair' was as low as it went, unless, truly, it was a pathetic book and, really, nothing but 'poor' would do. In these cases, I was very proud of my integrity overcoming my wussiness.

I could truly be a ditzy kid. One day at the library, I was returning my reading material and I had forgotten to rate the book. The mother sitting at the library desk asked me, "And how did you find the book?" I was stunned that she would ask me a question with such an obvious answer. After all, we were in a library loaded with books. How could you miss them? I squinted my eyes. "I looked on the shelf and there it was," I replied. Keep in mind that I did not mean to be rude; this was pretty much said in complete innocence. That was the day I learned another meaning for the word 'find.' These things happen when you're a kid.

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