For as long as I can remember, libraries and bookstores have been some of my favorite second homes. As a child, my father would often take me to a downtown bookstore when I came into the office with him, and libraries were quiet places where I could easily while away several hours. Though I love everything about these places – the layout, the organization, the smell of new and old books – I’ve always been predominantly drawn to the infinite amount of adventures that await me on every page!
In Pittsburgh, I had access to some really great libraries and always loved curling up in a little nook somewhere with a stack of books. Going to the library was an almost weekly occurrence in my family, especially during the summer when I got to track how many books I was reading in the Summer Reading Program. Libraries have also been some of my favorite places to study and work.
However, once I moved to Washington, I lost a little bit of that. Now, before that statement gets misconstrued as “D.C. has terrible libraries,” the fault was entirely my own. I wasn’t quite ready to give up my Pennsylvania driver’s license (my picture was really good!) and never had the proof of residence I needed to get a card for the library that was just down the street. Luckily, I worked at a Barnes&Noble that was also nearby and was able to satisfy my book habit that way. However, I’ve come to realize that that habit is quite expensive to maintain without an employee discount!
So after five years of living in the DMV, I decided it was finally time to embrace my new home and got a Virginia license. Since I don’t have a car, I was primarily excited to get it because it meant I could finally get a new library card! And the local library the Mysterious Mr. C and I discovered is really nice. It has a ton of book clubs and events that occur on a regular basis, and the comic book/graphic novel section is one of the largest I have ever seen! I have no idea what I am going to check out first, but I’m excited just thinking about all of the possibilities!
While I do have a Nook e-reader and love taking it with me on long trips, holding a physical copy of a book will never get old for me. There’s just something about seeing the actual progress you are making through a story that is so fulfilling. And in an age where bookstores and libraries are suffering from both a lack of patronage and funding, I am determined to do my bit to help keep them, and my imagination, alive.