When I was a child, I had a library less than one block from my elementary school. I spent a great majority of my time there. Some of my favorite memories from my childhood were at that library and not on the streets surrounding my house just five blocks away. Some would say I was a bit of a nerd or a dweeb because I preferred to be in the library surrounded by books, but I played outside whenever I wasn’t hol’ up with a good book.
I used to go to my neighborhood library after school and listen to people read us different books. Sometimes I even rollerbladed up the street and went. I can’t remember most of the books we read together, but it was entertaining. Some of my first chapter books I ever heard were during those afternoons in the library.
I remember one day after school I went over to the library for carpet time and I was sitting there with about five other kids. A nice lady was reading to us that day and she had to have been in her early twenties. She was usually there, but she didn’t work for the library. I’m pretty sure she was a volunteer or from an outside company, like Jumpstart.
She would read us the book and then, afterwards, we would have a discussion about its content. She liked to make sure we understood it and then we could ask any questions we wanted. We even did activities related to the book she read. Even though I can’t remember which books we read, I’m pretty sure those moments were what got me interested in reading, and probably writing as well.
Most people can name tv shows or movies they loved from their childhood. While I can do that too, I much preferred to spend my time with a book in my hands. Some of my favorite children’s books were Chica Chica Boom Boom, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I grew up in the 90s and my teachers liked to stick around these types of books up until maybe second grade. So, they were also the types that I would pick up when I went to the library.
Slowly, but surely I started reading series like Goosebumps and some of the others. My sister enjoyed the Baby-sitter’s Club, so I read those too, but I didn’t really like them as much. The moral of this story is that reading to children, or helping them to read on their own, can make some of their best memories.