This is a love letter from me to the libraries HH and I use and love. HH is a fast reader and flies through books much faster than I can. He often comes home with a stack of five or six books he’s chosen from the Waynedale Library, not far from our house. He starts each book, but if they don’t hold his attention, they’re quickly dismissed. Sometimes, all of them are returned, unread. A reminder to me. There are a lot more readers like my HH out there. A writer has to hook them fast, or they move on.
Before the head Waynedale librarian, Don, retired, every time HH went to find books, he and Don would open the HUGE dictionary sitting on a stand near the checkout counter to find one or two new words HH found in the previous books he’d read that he didn’t know. He reads a lot of nonfiction and historical novels, and most of those use a larger vocabulary than cozies and thrillers. HH and Don would read the definition and pronunciation together, then HH kept them in a notebook, hoping to increase his vocabulary.
(My younger daughter and a stocker at our nearby grocery store used to play the vocabular game, too, when Robyn was in grade school. They took turns. One week when I went to buy groceries, the woman stocker would have a word for Robyn to see if she knew it. The next week, Robyn would have a word for her. That lasted until Robyn got bored spending an hour with me in the store and stayed home).
My writers’ club meets at a more central library for all of us to drive to. Little Turtle has been kind to us, letting us use the big meeting room every second and fourth Wednesday of each month, except during the summers–when they pass out free lunches to school children and offer programs for them. Then we go to the main library, downtown, and it offers us a room. The main library used to showcase local authors once a year with tables set up for us to display our books, and many of us were invited to speak on panels about the craft of writing during the program. Covid ended that. I don’t know if or when it will start up again, but it was a nice way to meet fellow local authors.
Libraries, like so many other things, have taken a beating during the pandemic, but ours have done everything possible to keep providing books to readers. And of course, they have a strong e-book and audio book program, too. I have to admit, I rarely check out books at the library, because I’m a Kindle junkie and buy most of the books I read, usually when they’re on sale, but even if they’re not for favorite authors.
What about you? Are you a strong library user? Or is your TBR pile jammed on your Kindle? Are you lucky enough to get a lot of visiting authors at your local book stores or libraries? Do you go to hear them? And these days, do you like listening to authors on podcasts or Facebook? There are a lot of different options anymore. What are your favorites? Or would you rather just read and ignore the rest?