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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Book Store/Library (06/03/10)

TITLE: Happiness Is A Book
By E.J. Swanson
06/04/10


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My love for books began when I was a very young child when my mother read to me nightly. I remember a series of Uncle Remus books featuring Br’er Rabbit. My all time favorite was Grimm’s’ Fairy Tales. I imagined that behind every book cover there were magical lands, beautiful princesses, fanciful animals, and of course “happily ever afters”.

In my grammar school, libraries were limited to a few book shelves within the classroom. A reward for finishing assignments was a visit to those shelves. The smell of those books, the feel of the bindings and the touch of the well used paper was an excitement to me. The library was a place of escape and adventure. All of this was an introduction to the wonderful world of books.

When I entered high school I was given an opportunity to work in the library during a study hall period. Each worker got an opportunity to work at many jobs. We took turns in the work room where we sorted new books, cut out blurbs from the jackets and pasted them into the backs of books. As I carefully folded the pages in a prescribed manner to facilitate it’s opening correctly, I would steal a glance to see what the pages contained. We also pasted pockets in the back covers to be used by the circulation desk.

Working the circulation desk was the most desired position by most students. I loved the shelving of books and I’m sure I dallied far too long over the job. Books were to be placed evenly along the shelves and reach out to the very edge of the shelf. Librarians must have invented OCD. But I liked that structure and enjoyed seeing the books in perfect order. I worked in the school library for three years.

Living in the country I did not have opportunity to learn about book stores until later in life. I began to go to bookstores on errands for my church. Talk about a kid in a “candy store”. I was one. I was absolutely intrigued by “titles”. I’ve bought many books because of titles only to learn that one truly cannot judge a book by it’s cover…nor it’s title. I could easily have spent a whole paycheck in Books-A-Million.

I believe every writer has a deep-seated desire to see their name on a book. What a joyful privilege to look up and see our own creation in a shinny book jacket or identified by the Dewey Decimal System.


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This article has been read 280 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Timothy Klingerman 06/10/10
I also remember the collection of books in the classroom that the teacher made available as a reward. Libraries can take on many forms, as the progression of your piece shows.
Joanne Sher 06/14/10
What lovely memories you have. This reminds me of my love of books, and the wonderful smell. Thanks!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/14/10
This is a great trip down memory lane. I too remember the excitement of the library club.
Patsy Hallum06/15/10
This really grabbed my heart from the very beginning! Keep writing like this and you will move up.