Thursday, June 23, 2016

Some Dreams Come True

I love libraries.  When I was a child, they seemed magical.  A place that that existed solely to house books that people could take home for free?  Nothing was better than that.  I felt at home among the books and other readers.  At a young age I internalized this important truth: if someone was a "book person" I could pretty much bet that they were a my kind of person. 

I'm 45 now and both things still hold true.  Libraries are still magical, and Book People are still my people.  That's why I'm excited to be going to Orlando this weekend to speak to the American Library Association on their First Author, First Book panel

This is my first appearance as a "published author".  I'm both excited and terrified.  I want to be all cool and be like, "That's right.  I'm flying to Orlando to talk about my Book."  (In this case book has to be capitalized because you know, it's That Important.)  Instead, I'm like, "Oh My Goodness!  I have to talk about this thing I wrote.  It's hundreds of pages but suddenly I don't even know what the book is about!"

Then I remember who I'm talking to.  Librarians.  Fellow bibliophiles.  And I relax.  Because this is my tribe.  I wasn't the cool kid in school.  I wasn't a cheer leader or jock.  (I laugh even thinking about the possibility.)  I was the kid who got hit in the face in dodge ball.  I was the kid who carried around thick novels and got to class early so I could read.  I was the kid who read encyclopedias for fun.  That's right.  I was (and am) a Geek.  That's okay.  I own it.  In books I found my home, and through writing I discovered my voice.

We didn't have much money when I was a kid.  Sometimes, the only meal my brother and I ate was the lunch at school.  But thanks to my mother (who was an avid reader) and to our local library, we had books.  Every week my mom would take us to the library.  My brother and I would bring home a stack of books which my mom would read to us.  This is where I discovered that books were magic.  No matter my what my life looked like, I could open a book and disappear into a new world. 

Libraries are special places.  Especially for kids who grew up like I did--in need.  I felt rich every time I opened a book I hadn't read yet.  (I still do.)  I might have spent some days with my stomach empty, but thanks to the library, my mind was always full.

My love of literature was born in a library.  It's only fitting that the first event promoting The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin begins with librarians. 

     

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