Friday, February 3, 2017

Why You Should Make a Library Pilgrimage

The summers when I was in elementary school and my mother was working and my grandmother was still alive, she used to take me and my brother to the library so we could participate in the summer reading challenges.  Read x number of books by y date, and you get a little prize.  Somehow in the joy of small plastic frogs and miniature Slinkies, I didn't realize that the real prize of the summer reading challenge was the books-with-my-grandmother part, and our times at the library became some of the memories I now revisit whenever something is scary or sad or difficult.  But I hadn't really re-lived anything like those memories recently, save for all my literary talks with my mum.  Today, I changed that.  I walked up and down the aisles of the school library and rediscovered the rush of finding a book, picking it, and actually checking it out to read.  Checking a book out is like making a commitment to yourself to spend time with a friend, even if it's just for a short while, and I can hardly describe how exciting it was to take the book out of the library with me and know I'd get to go home and share it with my mum later. I felt like a six year-old again, and the best part is that, as I was leaving, I saw all these other books--everything from an anthology of French literature to a novel of the Irish potato famine to a tale of heartbreak--and cataloged them in my mind to check out later.

The book I found at the library today.  It's not a novel by any means, but it's full of beautiful art and poetry.

Where am I going with this?  Well, if you've been stressed or anxious or worried lately, I strongly recommend that you make a library pilgrimage if you get the chance to!  Literature has such amazing healing abilities, and there's nothing quite like the rush of picking a world to educate yourself in and disappear into.  It's like travelling but without the stress of airports or passports or money.

<3 Frances

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