“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National Library Week, Day 2: Christine Brodien-Jones on Borges and a reunion

Before we continue with our celebration from authors, I'd like to share some links from Diane Chen who writes the "Practically Paradise" blog at School Library Journal.  She posted "Small steps to celebrating libraries this month" with some very practical, easy-to-make-happen ideas:  an activities flyer, public service announcements you can use, a Library Bill of Rights, and much more.

Now, back to the authors:  Today we hear from Christine Brodien-Jones, the author of THE OWL KEEPER, a middle-grade novel just out from Random House that tells of a boy who's allergic to the sun, who finds he has the ability to fight the power of the dark.   

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." -- Jorge Luis Borges 

"As with the mysterious libraries of Borges’ fiction, my hometown library still haunts my dreams: an elegant structure of shadowy interiors, labyrinthine halls and spiral staircases.  There was an upstairs room that in my dreams was always hard to find: its windows painted shut, shelves overflowing with odd fragile books.  For me, the library was a world unlike any other.  At the front desk, whispery librarians stamped our library cards.  Downstairs was the Children’s Room, where we sat in circles and stories were read.  Magical times.  Out front grew an old copper beech with low branches: a perfect climbing-tree where I could sit and read the afternoons away: fantasies like Edward Eager’s delightful time-travel books. 

A few summers ago I visited my hometown and noticed a book sale on the library’s front lawn.  There, among the jumble of discarded books, I spotted three familiar covers: Edward Eager’s “Knight’s Castle, “The Time Garden,” and “Magic by the Lake.”  I examined each book, breathing in the smell of moldy pages, marveling at N. M. Bodecker’s light-hearted illustrations.  These books, I knew, were the same ones I’d checked out of the library and read all those years ago.  I paid for them and walked off smiling, the books clasped to my chest.  To be reunited with them was, well, paradise."

What's your library paradise story?

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