Good morning, fellow imaginers, and welcome to another wonderful weekend here at YJBLiterary! This is a special weekend for me, as today I will be doing a Meet the Author presentation at our local library here in North Carolina! I was honored when they reached out to me, and as an indie author, it means a lot to have support and exposure from our local bookstores and lenders. This will allow me to connect with my community on a deeper level and hopefully help to inspire future authors and book lovers to chase after their dreams. This also allows me a chance to give back to a place that was always near and dear to my heart growing up: my local library.
Growing up, my mother instilled a love of reading within me at a very early age. I was a voracious reader, my appetite insatiable. We had a study room at my house growing up, and one of the walls was entirely made up of bookshelves, the wooden panels covering the long wall top to bottom with books ranging across all genres. My mother loved to read and made sure that we were exposed to all types of books along those massive shelves. Too small to reach the top, I would climb the shelves like an experienced boulderer, eagerly searching for my next adventure. Once my hands were full, I would bring them down and devour as many of the words as I could, a novel in one hand and a dictionary in the other to help me grasp the adult words contained within. Needless to say, reading was a passion of mine.
As I grew up, the books became both easier to obtain and read, and soon I had engulfed them all. It was a disappointing time for me when I had finished that final book and looked up at those well worn shelves with nothing new to read. That was when my father first brought me to the library. The moment I walked in, it was love at first sight: the endless shelves of books, the smell of the pages, the deafening silence that encompassed this holy ground. It was amazing. After a few minutes, my father got me set up for my very own library card, and the rest was history.
I made it a point to check out as many books as I was allowed, my skinny arms tired by the time I managed to stumble into the backseat of the car. I would read them all as fast as I could, begging my father to take me back every time he got off work. Soon, we were at a point where he could no longer take me at the pace I wanted, so I would spend the early afternoon biking to the library in order to make it back home in time for dinner. There were so many options, so many adventures available at the tip of my fingers. It was overwhelming. It was magical. It had become my second home.
Over the years, things have obviously changed. The rising popularity of Barnes & Nobles and Borders gave birth to a new frenzy of reading. The internet became a stomping ground for blogs and fan fiction of all types. But most importantly, ebooks came about, the Nook, Kobo, and Kindle revolutionizing publishing and the way we consume books forever. I won’t lie, I have one of each, Kindle being my favorite. I had a similar feeling opening my Kindle as I did when I first stepped into the library all those years ago. That feeling of excitement, the anticipation and wonder of having all of these options before me. It was similar. But it wasn’t the same.
No matter how many ebooks I download onto my device, or how many books line my bookshelf at home, nothing quite captures my heart like walking into my local library. There’s something about the place itself, what it stands for, that makes it special to me. You see, no matter your race, social class, or education level, the library is a place where people across all spectrums can come together. A place where they can read, research, learn, or simply hold conversation. It’s a place where a young child can walk in and discover his imagination and creativity. It’s a place where he learns to dream of being a writer. It’s my home away from home.
I hope you all feel the same way, and no matter how you like to consume your books, make sure you support your local libraries! You never know what new author might spring out of them 😉 Until next time, keep imagining!