Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Musings: At the Library


Louis L’Amour was at one time one of the most popular writers in the world. His works consisted mostly of western fiction. In his lifetime, L’Amour wrote 105 published works. That’s a lot of writing. One of his most famous quotes is: “I am a product of libraries.”  The above picture is taken in the Louis L’Amour Writer’s Shack in the Pioneer Village at Jamestown, North Dakota, the place of his birth.
Louis L’Amour’s success as an author is largely attributable to his love of reading. I can relate to that. Reading has always been a love of mine, as I have said many times before. I remember being elated whenever I had the chance to go to the city library on a Saturday, or when the Book Mobile would come to our school. We had libraries in both the elementary and high schools, but they just weren’t the same. Somehow they seemed more of a required reading place than one of pure reading enjoyment.

The city library had rows and rows of books, some of which were as old, if not older than my grandmother. I loved the smell of those old books, and how their pages felt between my fingers – soft and smooth, yet like holding a linen cloth. The library had two full aisles of children’s books. I knew exactly where the Beatrix Potter books were, how many there were supposed to be and which ones were missing. I was always disappointed when it was time to leave. The library was a place where a little girl could escape into fantastic new worlds of adventure, far away from the reality of life such as it was. A lot of people feel that way about books, for as many reasons as there are readers.
Like Louis L’Amour, I developed my imagination through reading the stories of others. I still read as much as I can to expand my horizons, entertain a tired mind, or just for the pure escapism of it. I don’t think I could write about the things that I do, if I hadn’t spent some time in the library.

Reading is so important in the world. It doesn’t matter what language you are reading. If you are illiterate in your mother-tongue, you will be illiterate in most others as well. In the book, Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, Katie’s mother says this, “The secret is in the reading and the writing.” She was speaking to the secret of success. Ask yourself; is she wrong? If you have small children, read to them and read to them often. If you can’t afford to buy books, take them to the library and read to them there. That’s the glory of the library, it’s free. You don’t have to have a child to go to the library and read, there is a whole universe of worlds waiting to be discovered.
There’s another saying that goes something like this: Great people talk about ideas; average people talk about things; and small people talk about other people. You know how to be one of the Great People? Read to develop ideas. Read to develop critical or authentic thinking. Where do you get these reading materials? At the Library.

Monday Musings: Even writers get lazy sometimes, especially when they are tired. I hereto promise whereby and therefore the Simply Saturday Blog will be much better. :-)