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BBAW – Reading Meme

September 16, 2009
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For this daily topic, I decided to answer two questions because I think they go hand in hand.  The questions are:

  • How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?
  • Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of  writing in books horrify you?

I always credit my mother for my love of reading.  She always encouraged reading and discouraged watching television.  I have very fond memories of sitting at the kitchen table reading to my mother while she cooked supper.  We often discussed the book afterward.

My mother wasn’t the only person to encourage me to read, though.  The elementary school I attended had a fabulous librarian, who obviously loved children and books.  She opened the library before and after school and several mornings a week during the summer.  The librarian (I wish I could remember her name) emphasized respecting books and treating them like treasures and always told us to wash our hands before we handled a book.  Her words have stuck with me and to this day, I won’t mark in a book or dog ear its pages.  If I don’t have a bookmark handy, I’ll use any scrap of paper I can find.

I hung around the library so much in elementary school that the librarian finally put me to work.  I would shelve books, check books in and help straighten things up.  I can still remember the first time she let me check out a book for someone and I got to use the date stamp!  (Only readers of a certain age will know what I’m talking about.)

I don’t have a picture of that librarian, but I often wonder what she looked like.  In my mind, she was one of the most beautiful women in the world and I never wanted to disappoint her.

52 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2009 6:11 am

    My mom was the school librarian when I was growing up, so I was there alot. The smell of a library puts me into a trance. I volunteer at my kids’ school library now, and I run the Book Fair. You just can’t get it out of your blood.

  2. September 16, 2009 6:23 am

    Kathy, I’m like you. The clean unbent pages suit my meiculous nature so I keep a bookmark with mine so I don’t have to do any serious damage.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful librarian who made a great impression. 🙂

  3. September 16, 2009 7:32 am

    My mom worked in a small library on Saturday and Sunday mornings when we were kids, and sometimes I’d go with her. I loved using the date stamp and shelving books. But I also liked reading my way through the kids section.

  4. September 16, 2009 7:58 am

    Such a wonderful post! The school library is a fond memory for me. (And great advice about washing hands – I volunteered to shelve books at the elem library last year and I couldn’t believe just how yucky those books can get!) Happy BBAW Kathy and congrats on being short listed for best commentor – you are tremendous! 🙂

  5. September 16, 2009 8:13 am

    Your mother sounds like a wonderful influence on you.

    Using the date stamp was right up there if you worked in the library ! You had arrived! I loved working in the public library when I was in high school. They didn’t even really have to pay me that whopping hourly salary of .75 cents because it was a job I truly enjoyed. Thanks for the memory jogger.

  6. September 16, 2009 8:15 am

    Ah, and there we go, sharing something more. I, too, worked in the school libraries for years. I had fractured my arm and it was in a cast from fourth to tenth grade (obviously quite a fracture). No gym for me. But libraries, yes. I was queen of the date stamp.

  7. September 16, 2009 8:24 am

    I love that you were taught to respect books like that!!! How wonderful.

    And I remember the date stamp … I love stuff like that. I always wanted to do one but never got to. One thing I do like about our library is that we can do “self check out” and scan the barcodes ourselves — my son and I fight over who gets to do the most books!

  8. September 16, 2009 8:25 am

    I know exactly what you mean by the “date stamp”. I always wanted one of my own so I could keep the book longer.. .’O0

  9. September 16, 2009 8:26 am

    I know of this date stamp. 🙂

  10. September 16, 2009 8:36 am

    This was such a touching post. That librarian sounds like a fantastic lady! I am very much in favor of treating books with respect. And I’m sure she was gorgeous! 🙂

  11. September 16, 2009 8:52 am

    I have date stamped too. Such a privilege!

    BBAW: Reading meme

  12. September 16, 2009 8:57 am

    What a lovely post! I remember the date stamp! One of the found memories I have of my elementary school library, the sound of a librarian checking in/out books. Not the beep like it is currently, but a *thump* as she placed the stamp on each card.

  13. September 16, 2009 9:18 am

    My daughter visited her school library for the first time on Monday. The first book she checked out? “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” illustrated by Michael Hague. I wonder if the librarian helped with the selection?

  14. September 16, 2009 9:29 am

    Your beautiful post brought back beautiful memories for me too. As a child I thought everything about the library was magical, including the date stamp. We owe a lot to those wonderful librarians.

  15. September 16, 2009 9:39 am

    Wow, washing hands before picking up a book – that’s hard core, I love it!
    I was also a fan of the date stamp.
    This is such a beautiful post, Kathy and really gets to the heart of a love of books.

  16. September 16, 2009 9:42 am

    That is such a wonderful story! I wish I had worked/volunteered in the library as a kid. I’m hoping to make up for that potentially, I’d love to work in one now!

  17. September 16, 2009 9:45 am

    That librarian sounds amazing! Stories like these make me even more sure of my decision to go to library school. Hopefully one day I’ll make a difference like that librarian did.

  18. September 16, 2009 9:48 am

    Ah, the date stamp–such a satisfying sound. It meant the book was yours (for a while). Kudos to your mom, and the wonderful librarian.

  19. September 16, 2009 9:50 am

    I remember the date stamp Kathy!

    I used to use any scrap of paper as a bookmark myself, but then people started giving me bookmarks as gifts all the time…so now I just alternate those.

  20. September 16, 2009 9:52 am

    Great story Kathy. You know it’s weird. I fondly remember the city library as a child, but I do not recall a library at my school from K-8, and then in high school, I’m sure there was a high school library, but I NEVER recall being there???

    Hey, I know what you are thinking, but I wasn’t a totally dummy in high school I made National Honor Society and was in top 20% of my graduating class…lol

  21. September 16, 2009 11:17 am

    I am a dog-earing person 😦
    Honestly, I don’t do it consciously. My teacher told me repeatedly not to, but her words fell on deaf ears. It’s not that I don’t respect books. I love them, but I think dog-earing doesn’t mutilate a book, because I take care to straighten out the dog ears afterward. Writing in it, that’s a wholly different matter.

  22. September 16, 2009 11:30 am

    Reading at the kitchen table is such a sweet memory to have.

    I hung out at the library when I was young too. I spent hours there and you know what’s funny? The main librarian that was there at that time, is now the Dean of the university library where I work now. How weird is that??

  23. stacybuckeye permalink
    September 16, 2009 11:44 am

    That’s so sweet! The special time with your mother and your elementary school librarian have obviously had a lasting effect.

  24. September 16, 2009 11:52 am

    Good librarians are some of the greatest gifts. I actually volunteered in my middle school library before and after school. Sometimes after I’d finished all the work in class as well.

  25. September 16, 2009 12:14 pm

    I loved reading this post! And now I know more about how your love of books was nurtured!

  26. September 16, 2009 1:04 pm

    I love the images of you reading to your mom while she made dinner and of the first time you stamped a book for check out. You were lucky to have two such fine reading role models!

  27. September 16, 2009 1:27 pm

    I miss the cards in the books and the date stampers!

  28. Missy permalink
    September 16, 2009 2:24 pm

    Kathy: That is a very sweet post! I also inherited my love of reading from my mom. Aren’t you glad that our mothers contributed to our love of books and reading? 🙂
    You should have become a librarian….I wish I had!

  29. September 16, 2009 2:38 pm

    I do agree that books are treasures, but they are also meant to be used and loved. I don’t abuse my books, but I do enjoy them, even if it means marking a favorite passage. 🙂

  30. September 16, 2009 4:10 pm

    What a sweet tribute to your librarian. As a librarian myself it warms my heart!

  31. September 16, 2009 4:31 pm

    Aww, this is sweet! My parents didn’t read much so I’m surprised I enjoy it as much as I do.

  32. September 16, 2009 5:03 pm

    What a lovely librarian. I use to hate reading, by my grade 1 teacher sent me books and that kick started my love of books.

    ps. I miss those date stamps.

    ~ Popin

  33. Bellezza permalink
    September 16, 2009 5:36 pm

    I love how you answered just two of the questions with greater detail. Your depiction of the librarian brought back such memories: clean hands and date stamps especially. The librarians at our public library were real witches, but despite their crabby attitude, I could never abandon my early on love for books.

    Like you, I read at my mother’s knee. I can just picture you reading to her as she cooked. What a lovely image!

  34. September 16, 2009 6:23 pm

    I’m a Library Assitant at my school this year. I’ve never been particularly fond of libraries, but I do enjoy glancing at the titles and author names as I work. The school year has only just begun, but I’ve done all that you listed, and it is enjoyable work. Actually, at my school, we still use date stamps. My partner Library Assitant usually handles that job. Thanks for letting us take a peek into your childhood memories! I wish my mom liked to read more. She won’t read at all unless I read aloud to her, and she tends to forget what we read the day before! Haha, moms are wonderful!

  35. September 16, 2009 6:30 pm

    How sweet! That was a wonderful story. I worked in my high school’s library, and I remember being very excited about the first time I date stamped book, too. 🙂

  36. September 16, 2009 7:11 pm

    A good school librarian is a real treasure. My junior high librarian introduced me to many wonderful books. She even went so far as to lend me some of her own copies. My high school librarian didn’t have such an influence on my reading, but she was a wonderful woman nonetheless. I always remember her enthusiasm for the Harry Potter series; she was forever trying to convince people to give it a go.

    And I remember date stamps. 🙂

  37. September 16, 2009 7:23 pm

    I was in the elementary school library so frequently that I was one of two students invited to Miss Zigler’s wedding the summer between 5th and 6th grade. I loved her with her wildly curly hair and all those wonderful books!

    As for the date stamp, my youngest’s school still uses one and since I am the library mom on Monday mornings, I get to use it to my heart’s content. And I must say all of the kids are completely entranced by it.

  38. September 16, 2009 7:51 pm

    I was a librarian when I was in high school, and yes we do use a date stamp back then! Thanks so much for bringing me such fond memories! 🙂

  39. September 16, 2009 7:54 pm

    I use a bookmark and would never think of dog earing a corner — Horrors! The only books I highlight were school text books. Now while I read a book, I put a large lined post it paper in the back of the book to make notes of quotes or thoughts I like.

  40. September 16, 2009 8:52 pm

    That’s a great memory of your mother and a nice story about the librarian. It sounds like my ideal childhood!

  41. September 16, 2009 9:03 pm

    What a wonderful memory! My mom could hardly speak English so we didn’t read that much .

    I also tagged you this fun little meme 🙂

  42. September 16, 2009 9:41 pm

    I remember my first librarian – Miss Alice. She let me have my very own library card, even though I was too young, because I could write my own name. She was wonderful. Loved this post.

  43. September 16, 2009 9:49 pm

    What great memories!

  44. September 16, 2009 10:10 pm

    I used to help out in our school library and fondly remember the thrill of the date stamp! I loved working in the library, shelving the books, and pretending I was the librarian. What great memories! 🙂

  45. September 16, 2009 10:50 pm

    What a nice memory, Kathy! It sounds like this children’s librarian was really special – I hope she impacted a lot of kids the way she did you.

  46. Carol permalink
    September 16, 2009 10:54 pm

    I miss the date stamps and the check-out cards. Librarians can be really great. It’s a shame some aren’t, though.

  47. September 17, 2009 12:09 am

    Wow! I remember the date stamp! I use to love it when they would let me do it!!! Always love your answers to these type of questions!

  48. September 17, 2009 9:22 am

    Wow that’s a great thing to have read to your mom! When I was a kid, we used to go to my parents house in train and it was a 3 day journey! My dad used to buy me loads of Tinkle, Archie etc so that I would not pester him of boredom! 😀

    That’s how I created my love for reading!

  49. September 17, 2009 10:50 am

    I remember the date stamp! I got to help out in the library in junior high as one of my elective classes and I remember it being a lot of fun.

  50. justicejenniferreads permalink
    September 17, 2009 11:47 am

    That’s awesome. I work in a library and we actually still use date stamps – and I love that I get to check out books and use the date stamp. I find it so sad that the library experience is no longer an integral part of people’s childhoods. I loved going to the library with my mother as a child. Our local library was small and difficult to use so we would travel to other libraries to find books to read and use for projects. It was always an adventure and definitely part of the reason it was so easy for me to fall in love with reading.

  51. September 20, 2009 2:02 am

    My daughter told me the other day that her librarian told them to wash their hands before handling books. She knows how I like my books to be pristine or at least in the condition they were when I got them, and I see her starting to take better care of her books.

    Serena’s library still uses a date stamp, and The Girl was thrilled to get a chance to play with it because she’d never seen one before. LOL

  52. September 22, 2009 9:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, Kathy.

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