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  • Maureen Boyle

Missing the library (and bookstores, too)

I grew up roaming the stacks at the Bridgeport, Connecticut Public Library, one of the few places that were cool in those sweltering city summers. To me, it was an oasis of dreams, a castle protecting the child-me from chilling reality. There were newspapers and paintings and fancy floors and what seemed like never-ending staircases only seen in movies. It was a beautiful reading playground.

The libraries I've been to since range from two room buildings in small towns to towering structures in large cities but the feeling I get each time I walk into one, no matter the size, remains the same. Wonderment.

I've missed libraries in the last year. I've missed searching the titles, wondering if it is possible to read every book in the building. I've missed seeing librarians. I've missed seeing library patrons at book events and at the front desk while checking out books of my own.

The bookstores are finally opened and I've spent hours wandering those aisles, credit card in hand, plucking worlds off the shelves to visit later. I know many libraries allow you to check out books curbside (a great thing) but there is nothing like scanning those shelves, discovering new titles and stories.

I'm looking forward to the day, hopefully soon, when we can all check into our favorite places.

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