Sunday, December 05, 2010

Where I grew up

This is where I grew up. It didn't look like this when I was little; then it was a rectangular red brick building with not as many windows and NO toilets. The children's section was separated from the adults section and I remember spending hours flicking through all the children's book, while my Mum was on the other side choosing her reading material for the week.

During the summer holidays, the library would dutifully show Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and my brother and I would dutifully troop off to see it... again. Another thing they would do during the holidays was have themed reads. I got well into The Worst Witch series one half term, because she had a lovely little cat and she just messed things up, a bit like me.

You could say I became a writer at the library, as I would come home and tell my brother and parents stories about all the imaginary friends I played with at the library. Those characters were probably some of the realest, roundest, well developed characters I ever made up.

When I came back from university a bit disillusioned with the way the British education was going and unemployed I lived in that library. I went through the directories there and found voluntary work. I went through the Times Ed every week until I found a job. And more importantly I read loads of trade paperbacks of all my favourite comics, and some that I just thought I would try. I also learnt to cook more than chilli, curry and lasagne. Once a week or maybe more, I would cook my parents dinner. My Mum was generally quite grateful as it meant she didn't have to cook and my Dad just hoped it was a week where I only cooked once and meat would be back, but all those recipes came from books from the library.

These are just some of the memories I have of my library. I no longer live in the UK, but some of the things I miss are a writing community, which is why I blog. I miss certain foods, which is why there is a Holland and Barrat's bag full of meat free sausage mix in my larder. And I miss the library, because I love books and I love the memories that go with my library.

I cannot imagine my childhood without Southfields library and I cannot imagine why the UK Government is planning on closing 250 libraries. Neither can all these people around the blogosphere :
Nicky Schmidt
Jon Mayhew
Lucy Coats
Jude Ensaff
Gillian Philip
Dave Cousins
If you cannot and would like to take action join this page on Facebook: Campaign for the Book official facebook site

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