And now for a good book

By meema

Old books from

As mentioned earlier, my mother worked in the school library when she was pregnant with me (and had to keep it a secret). She said that is why I love to read so much. There were very few books or magazines in our house growing up. I remember an old copy of “Huck Finn” that had belonged to a cousin and an old dictionary, plus a Bible story book that was a bonus with the large family Bible bought from a traveling salesman. Later there were some “Reader’s Digest Condensed Books”, “Reader’s Digest” magazine and “Farm Journal” magazine. Occasionally, Mother would buy a “Family Circle” or “Women’s Day” magazine at the grocery store.

So, the school and public libraries became my most important sources of books. I love fiction and always read the literature section of our English book in the first few weeks of school while always checking out as many books as often as possible from the school library during the school year. In the summer, we went to town once a week, and the public library allowed only 4 fiction and 4 non-fiction at a time. I rarely checked out non-fiction, but took those 4 fiction books and finished them in at most two days.

At the University of Texas, most students were not allowed to browse the books like a public library, so having to depend on knowing what I wanted to read and the card catalog was not very satisfying. I managed to take some courses that came with a “stack permit” that allowed me to wander through all the floors of the library, which was in the UT tower during my student years. Unfortunately, college libraries do not have as much fiction as I liked.

When we first lived in League City, the town was just beginning to grow with NASA Manned Spacecraft Center and we had a bookmobile from Galveston County that came once a week. After a while, we got a nice library with a good selection of books. There was a wonderful children’s librarian for story time when the kids were small and both always did the summer reading program and movies at the library.

We moved to Southlake, TX in 1985 and once more were in the bookmobile era, but were able to use the Grapevine library and I took full advantage of that privilege.

Library access changed when we moved to Austin and lived in Travis County but not the city of Austin. Until a few years ago, I could purchase an Austin library card, but decided instead to depend on garage sales to provide my “library”.

Several of my co-workers shared my love of mysteries and Sci-Fi and soon we were exchanging books at work. That grew to the point that I had a library in my office where we brought the books we had finished and traded out. When I changed positions and moved to a different building, the library was moved but gradually went away. I took many of the …read more

Source: The Good Ol Days


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