Thursday, January 13, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Firsts

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading.

This week's question is:

Do you remember the first book you bought for yourself? Or the first book you checked out of the library? What was it and why did you choose it?

I don't remember the first book I checked out, but I do remember my first trip to the library. I was seven and had just started school, and during lunch break a friend brought me with her to the public library, which was located at the school. I remember finding it a bit scary, because I had never been inside a place like that before and didn't really know what to do. But I did find some books that I wanted to take home, so I went up to the counter with them and the nice old lady librarian asked me if I remembered my loan number. I didn't know what she was talking about, so I just said no. She sighed and explained that I needed to bring my library card so she didn't have to look it up every time I wanted to borrow something. I had no idea what a library card was, and I was too shy to ask, but then my friend came to my rescue and told her I was not registered yet. The librarian filled out a shiny new card for me, put it in a plastic slip and all of a sudden I had access to what back then felt like a whole world of books (a few years later I had read most of the YA section and a fair amount of the adult section and was beginning to think the pickings were rather slim).

That library card changed my life. I can still remember my number: 208. Incidentally this was also the last three digits in my grandmother's phone number, which I had memorised long before. Gran was one of the people who most encouraged me to read, and she always gave me books for Christmas and birthdays (and then borrowed them afterwards).

Now both my grandmother and the old librarian are gone and I have a new brigth orange plastic library card with a bar code on the front and a new loan number. But the number 208 will always hold a very special meaning to me, and whenever the librarian asks for my number, that is what I always think of first.


Anonymous said...

Wow what a great memory to have. I remember what my first library card looked like, but that is about it.

Tribute Books Mama said...

here's mine

Dana Huff said...

What a great memory! I remember early visits to the library with the same sense of wonder.

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