Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Leaves

Your Library Friend is blogging from the techy Bay Area in California this month, visiting family and enjoying perfect fall days, not unlike one of Eastern Carolina's autumn pleasures.  Walking is the preferred mode of transportation hereabouts, and also includes a trip to the small neighborhood library, a pretty Spanish-style building only a few blocks away.  As in every season here, even fall, the streets and gardens are alive with exotic flowers of brilliant shades, herbs blossoming, succulents sending out new shoots from beneath the old ones.  Down from the trees, the leaves fall over the roofs and steps, and small children arrive for story hour, while older ones from the school across the street check out homework resources. 
It reminds me of being finally old enough to make my own trips to the library six or seven blocks from where I grew up.  I read everything I could get my hands on, sometimes stopping on the way home to begin a chapter or two.
It wasn't long, however, before the librarian (who in those days kept a close eye on who read what...) was looking askance at some of my choices.  "You're not old enough for the Adult Fiction shelves," she would admonish me.  When I protested that I'd read all the others in the children's section, she offered a solution.  "All right, then.  I'll let you choose from the Non-fiction section."
I didn't actually know what Non-fiction was, but it meant I could finally read new books, I'd try it.  Turns out it opened me up to all kinds of new worlds--biography, history, geography (still one of my favorites), and science (at least the ones that weren't locked away for fear of small eyes discovering the very adult mysteries of biology). I'd come back every few days for a new adventure.  Sixty years later, I'm still at the library looking for new worlds, these days found in film as well as on paper.
And that brings me to the new world I found at the library here on Santa Clara street:  Adult Reading Hour! 
How long has it been since you have had the pleasure of listening to a book being read to you?  Believe me, it's quite a treat.  Joining the group are people, as you might expect, whose eyes are beyond words in print but still appreciate a good read, and also those who simply love the sound of a story from a good storytelling voice.  The talented volunteer reader chooses short stories of all kinds (and takes suggestions from the audience, too), leaving time afterwards to welcome reactions and responses from her listeners.
Would you be interested in a Reader's Group at Brown Library, too?  If so, just answer this post, and yours truly will get the message.  Maybe with the help of some volunteers in Washington, we can get one started. 
California doesn't have to have all the fun.

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