Recently I "won" a huge amount of childrens' books at a silent auction. After we got them home and I was able to actually go through all of them, I was excitedly transported back to being a child again.
I remember the first chapter book I ever received as a gift. It came in the mail from my paternal grandma who lived in Colorado. As I opened the box and peeked inside, there lay a beautiful, hardcover edition of "Alice in Wonderland". I had to have been about 7 years old, so I wasn't old enough to read it yet then, but what a prized posession it was!
We moved around quite a bit during my grade school years and the last couple of times were not for happy reasons.....My parents were separating and later divorced. I could forget my sadness or lonliness when I buried myself inside a wonderful book. Sometimes I really loved bittersweet stories the most, like "Member of the Wedding" because I could relate so well. Other times, I loved adventurous tales, such as "Around the World in 80 Days". Later on I became a fan of Nancy Drew books, too.
My favorite grade school was the one I spent the most years at: 4th through 8th grade. It didn't have its own library, so the Bookmobile came at scheduled times, I think on Fridays. Walking up the steps into that small vehicle was like walking into Alice's wonderland! It was packed from floor to ceiling with books of all kinds. I still remember some of the beloved stories I read, borrowed from those marvelous shelves.
I hope that with technology racing along at the speed of light, we won't lose the incredible feeling of holding a book, turning its pages, inhaling its years of mystery, and falling asleep with it next to our pillow.
"When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day." --- Jean Fritz