I Blog For Books

19 August 2009

The Library is Your Friend

On Sunday, August 16, Mrs. Brenda Watson passed away. In my school days (the 70s and 80s), Mrs. Watson was a smiling fixture in the library at Cottonwood High School, and back in those school days, she was called the librarian. I think these days, they are media center specialists or something like that, but Mrs. Watson was definitely not your typical librarian.

Make no mistake, just because she was totally different from our previous librarian (Mrs. Windsor), that did not mean that she took her job less seriously ... far from that. She was a veritable wealth of knowledge on books, authors, and writing! She also maintained a pretty tight ship when it came to her library, there was no horseplay or loud noise allowed.

I have not been back to CHS in years, probably more than 20 years now. At that time, the library was in the center of the main hall across from the principal's office. It was a wonderful part of the original school structure, with high windows and varied shelf heights. The stage was in the library, with its maroon velvet curtains that seemed to be 20 feet tall. There was a little hallway when you first entered the library, and a closet to the left about midway down that hall. If you kept walking straight in, the first section of books you would come to was the junior section. It was wonderful to be old enough to check books from there! It was home to biographies in blue bindings - I read stories of Juliette Low, Abraham Lincoln, and Helen Keller. I followed in the detective steps of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

The center section that ran parallel to the main hall outside was a short section of shelves and was home not only to the elementary books (we were GROWN when we didn't have to check from there anymore!), but also to the reference books and encyclopedias. Research papers were done painstakingly by hand in those days, and you knew for sure that the school would have more than one set of encyclopedias. It was also a good bet that they did not have the same Funk & Wagnalls set that you had at home. There were dictionaries, works of fiction, and even magazines!

What's in your personal library? Do you have one? I confess. I am a bookaholic. I have books in almost every single room of my house, and yes, that is books plural. They are filling the bookshelves, stacked on the floor, on the bedside tables (both sides!), and in boxes not yet unpacked. If I were to count every book in my house, it would literally take days. I could call myself a collector (I am), but truth be told, I just simply love books. I love to read.

I could not even begin to list the books I have read in my lifetime, there are far too many. I feel blessed in that my children have the same love for reading. What you read, however, can be as important as how much you read. I read just about anything, and yes, I have read the entire Bible. Like music, books have the ability to take you places you may never otherwise have the opportunity to go. When I read, I am a part of the book!

If you don't like to read, find something that interests you. Start small. There is a reason books for young children are short: so is their attention span! If you are not a fan of reading, by all means don't pick up a Bible concordance to work your way through! Choose a book of the Bible instead. What did the pastor speak on last Sunday? Did that sermon strike a nerve? Do you want to know more about where his ideas came from? Read that book of the Bible. Read a Psalm, or read the first book of Genesis and be amazed all over again at the creation. In 31 verses, you can see our world created.

God, I thank you for the love of reading. I thank you for the encouragement I have received throughout my life that fostered that love. Thank you for blessing me with the presence of a wonderful librarian, Mrs. Watson, who was part of that encouragement, and with parents who loved to read. Thank you for allowing that blessing to overflow to my children and grandchild. May I continue to be able to share that love through the written and spoken word.

RIP Mrs. Brenda Joyce Watson.

"Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."~Revelation 1:3 NIV

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