When I got my library card, that’s when my life began – Rita Mae Brown
Before writing this I searched for quotes about libraries and the one I’ve quoted above spoke to me the most. I can’t imagine what my life, what everyone I know lives, would have been like without libraries.
A few things need to be understood. Growing up, while my family was never poor we were never rich either. Both my parents worked as soon as my sister was old enough and neither of them came from much wealth. I’m only a generation removed from working on a tobacco farm and only because my father managed to get to college and find work in a bank.
Because of my father’s work we moved around a lot. Between that and my family’s finances I didn’t own a lot of books growing up. Most of the books I own I’ve bought in the last decade when I finally landed a job that could support my bibliophile ways.
Libraries made sure I never lacked for reading material growing up.
I was the kid who checked out stacks of books every couple weeks and returned hungry for more. I was a voracious reader growing up, devouring anything I could get my hands on. The various libraries I visited growing up introduced me to Asmiov and Tolkein, and so many other authors.
Family trips stuck in the back of the car with my annoying sister were made tolerable by the numerous thick sci-fi and fantasy books I dragged along. I was even forbidden comic books because I read them too quickly.
Don’t worry, I’ve corrected that oversight now that I’m older, but my buying habits remain the same in that I’ll buy trade paperbacks rather than individual issues. I love seeing the full arc of a comic rather than getting it in dribs and drabs.
Without libraries I wouldn’t be in the position I am now to buy and support authors and friends. Without libraries hundreds if not thousands of dollars would have been spent on Nascar and nachos instead of books. Without libraries then bookstores and Amazon would be that much poorer (okay, probably not Amazon but I’m engaging in hyperbole here so just run with it).
Libraries will always have a special place in my heart, and I will fight you if you try and close them.