Thursday, December 28, 2017

The library of my childhood

It was a dark November 🍂 afternoon when I was walking with my mom somewhere at our large compound . Passing near the cultural center I saw a lots of books 📖 and people  inside .

- What is this place ? - I asked

- The library - my mother answered . For a very small fee one can read the books there or even can take them home !

- Really ? - I asked happily 😊

- Yes - and even children can be a member . But now it is too late . We are about to move 🚚 to another town . Once settled I will take you
to their library .I promise .

It was a real WOW feeling just to learn about the existence of such facility .( I could compare it to the moment when I learned to ride my bike 🚲.) But even to be a member ! It was far beyond all my expectations !
I was seven and half and I already read all our books . Then the neighbours' books . Then I was starving and ready to devour any book I come across .I was waiting for my summer holiday visiting cousins and I was planning to read their books . Or a birthday , name day or something similar .

The existence of the library opened a new perspective to my life ☼. I praised in myself the one who invented it .I just wished to have something similar for toys and games . But my mom informed me that facility does not exists .

Moving to another town was a real cultural shock . The landscape , the people were so different .☹ But my mom kept her promise and took me to the library . That was a wonderful place ☺.It was in the town center   in an old historical building . Downstairs children's library - upstairs library for the big ones .

We had a really nice sized collection . Old books were well maintained not discarded . I read a lot .
As a result I became a ✍ good writer .Essay writing was always an easy job for me . Walking home from school the sentences ,ideas formed by themselves in my mind . I just had to write them down when arriving home .

My very best friend whom I met at age 12 was also a bookworm . We visited the library together , would read at home cracking apples . Discussing the stories after .One year later we found no books to read downstairs we read them all . So we were allowed to be a member of the library upstairs. But often returned to the kids section for its special atmosphere .

And the kids library just improved year after year . The new librarians were not only advising kids about what to read but they were ready to chat with them . They could tell them about their problems , they helped them with their home works .They provided them a shelter for the afternoons if conditions at their homes were not favorable . They organized competitions , they made some puppets and performed operas with them using their audio collection . Those librarians were real fairies .
We were very lucky .
When visiting cities later in my life I noticed that those city libraries were quite different .So impersonal and less inviting than our town's libraries .

Later it was declining - the libraries did not get much money to buy new books . It was quite sad . Especially to learn how little money our "fairies" made . They retired with very small pension . The new librarians were not similar to them . But the Internet attracted a lots of kids who could not afford it .

Yeah - when I grew up the Internet came and I "owned" whole libraries in my room . That was a real wow feeling but this is another story .

P.S. similar facility for toys and games opened when I was in my twenties - my kids visited it and liked it very much ...

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