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I participated in this week's SF Signal Mind Meld. The question was excellent: what is your favorite memory of a library or bookstore? As several of the participants said, it's hard to pick just one! I told a story of an unusual encounter . . .

But how about you guys? What are some of your favorite memories?


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 6th, 2014 01:28 pm (UTC)
I love your library memory.
Aug. 6th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks--It was such a cool experience!

How about you? Any good library or bookstore memories?
Aug. 6th, 2014 03:39 pm (UTC)
You know, I can't pick out any memory that's superior to another, but I do remember spending a lot of time during the summer at the local public libraries and loving it. These days, I find that bookstores fill me with a kind of peace I don't really experience elsewhere. Strange, huh?
Aug. 6th, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
It makes good sense to me!
Aug. 6th, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC)

I think my favorite was discovering Blackwood's Children's Bookstore in Oxford. But I discovered it in time for it to close, in 1972. I was heartbroken, and even dreamed about it. But the last time I managed to get to England, in 1975, I made it to Oxford--and it was open, and just as delightful as I had expected.

My favorite library was the children's library (well, the adult, too) downtown L.A. The children's annex was enormous, and had these huge murals on the walls in thirties Art Deco style, depicting scenes from Robin Hood and other famous tales. They had simply everything.

I loved it so much I took the bus down there in 1972 to help put books back on the shelves after the Sylmar quake. But alas, that library burned down a few years later.
Aug. 6th, 2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
What wonderful memories of the LA library--what a shame that it burned down. I wonder if the murals are preserved anywhere in photographs.

And how great that you were able to get to the Blackwood's Children's Bookstore when it was actually open. My favorite childhood memory of a bookstore was one in Williamstown that my parents would visit when they were visiting there--but what I loved it for was that it was near a courtyard where I could always find bird feathers.
Aug. 6th, 2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
Extra magic, those bird feathers!
Aug. 6th, 2014 08:01 pm (UTC)
I used to love looking at the bound books of old (circa 1900 or so) women's periodicals at the old downtown LA library. I wonder how much of that stuff survived in the fire?
Aug. 6th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I hope some, at least!
Aug. 6th, 2014 01:47 pm (UTC)
The library of the University of Kent where I discovered how to study history madly, deeply and passionately. :o)
Aug. 6th, 2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
Excellent--a friend on Facebook shared the story of queuing outside her university at 6 am, waiting to get in and get the best seats for studying :-)
Aug. 6th, 2014 04:05 pm (UTC)
Favorite Library/book store memory
I remember smiling when I finished reading the last science fiction book in my middle school library and and then again when I finished all the SciFi books in the high school library.
Summer time: My mother volunteered at a hospital and would bring home SciFi books from the library cart. I had to read them and give them back in a week. Many summer nights, reading late and loving it.
Thank you for asking. I just relived one of my best adolescent summer memories.
Aug. 6th, 2014 04:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Favorite Library/book store memory
What an excellent story--I can just imagine finishing an excellent SF book late at night, knowing it was going to have to go back the next day….
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Aug. 6th, 2014 04:34 pm (UTC)
Redwall for the win!

One of my best memories of my kids' childhood was them playing Redwall and reciting the Marlfox poem (available here, if you want a refresher), and one of the only events I took them to was Brian Jacques talking at a bookstore--he really was as fabulous in person as he sounds on his recordings. What a great guy!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 6th, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
Turkish Studies, University of Lancaster Library
My trouble has always been distraction. I thought I had managed to avoid distraction by sitting in Law, but I mentioned this to a lecturer in law, who - horrified - showed me that those thousands of boring-looking backs hid a million stories.

So I tried other parts of the library that had books I could not read. These were mostly too small, or had lots of works of criticism in English.

Turkish studies was perfect. There was just one book in English (Mehmet my hawk), so I read that, and then settled down to work.

Aug. 7th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
Re: Turkish Studies, University of Lancaster Library
So what was Mehmet my Hawk about? It sounds like a book for young people. I can just imagine the cover--boy with hawk on his gloved hand.
Aug. 7th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
That's a great anecdote, Francesca.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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