Friday, August 17, 2007

Books and The Condescending Librarian....

Writing is an extensive endeavor. Even when I'm not writing, I'm either reading something by a writer or reading something to educate myself on writing or doing research. Even when I'm not doing that, writing stays on my mind. I love to talk about writing.

My desire to write comes from somewhere deep inside me. I'm not even sure when it started to be honest. Some little ember ignited my love of reading and my mom even said that as a child I loved books and making up stories.

I know at one point in my life there was an instance that could've damaged my love of reading and writing for the rest of my life. It's any wonder it didn't.

I was in 3rd grade and I was going to borrow a book that was probably more advanced than my reading level. I always borrowed books from the school library, but that one time, the librarian made a point of telling me she thought it was too advanced for me to read and she didn't think I could read it before I brought it back. It could be that I had borrowed it before and hadn't read it and wanted to reborrow it. I'm not sure, but I told her I would read it by the time I had to return it a week later.

Of course, I didn't read it and maybe it was stubborness or just rebellion on my part, but when I brought it back, she asked me point blank if I read it. I told her the truth and she told me that if I didn't read the books I borrowed I shouldn't borrow any. Now I can't recall for sure if she didn't allow me to borrow books anymore, but I do recall that I didn't want to borrow any more from her and I don't think I did the rest of that school year.

I still look back and see her as a condescending adult who should've known better. She humiliated me, hurt my feelings and made me feel about this big.

I didn't borrow any books from the school library again until I started 4th grade, at a different school with a different librarian. I look back on that now and wonder how an adult could look at an 8 or 9 year old child and chastise them for something like that.

Now, I do remind my stepson not to borrow something if he doesn't really want or plan to read it, but I wouldn't tell him that he couldn't borrow ANY books from the library. I encourage both my kids (though my daughter can't read yet) to enjoy books for everything they are worth, the adventures and emotions that you get from reading a book that puts you in another world or another life.

It was shortly after that incident in 3rd grade though that I started collecting books of my own to read. I convinced my dad to get me a subscription to the Just for Girls book club and if I read a book I liked well enough, I ended up buying at some point. I started creating my OWN library.

Like I said, it could've ruined my love of reading and writing, but in some ways, that librarian's snotty attitude may have actually had the opposite affect on me. I wanted books of my own more than ever. In fact, I've got a LOT of books I've never even read in my bookcase. They are on my TBR list, but I know that I can read them anytime I want without someone looking down their nose at me and telling me that I have to do it their way or the highway...

It may well have been when I started dreaming of being a writer too, because if I never stepped foot in another library, at least I'd have my own stories I could read and no one telling me that I couldn't.

Isn't it funny how childish beliefs and issues carry over into adulthood, but at the same time might well have been the catalyst for my desire to write? Maybe I should be thankful for the condescending librarian, but moreso I'm glad that it didn't turn me against reading/writing altogether.

Was there ever anyone or anything that could've turned you off of writing? Please feel free to share.


Maddie James said...

Hi there, (Holly!) :) I just discovered this blog of yours! I love it! Okay if I put a link to your blog on mine? Cool beans. I'll have to check in here more often now!


Taryn Raye said...

Sure thing Maddie. I don't mind at all!

Devon Matthews said...
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