I am just a girl who loves reading and talking about books
“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
― Mark Twain
The first library that I visited was somewhere in Embakasi back in the early 90’s. I don’t remember much about the building but I do recall that the library belonged to a Catholic Church. As an 8 year old, I thought that it was an incredible place. To me, It was like taking a trip to Disney World. At that age, I still loved the Ladybird book series and spent hours reading them. My favorite books were Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
I used to walk out of the library with a borrowed book hidden under my shirt lest a bully (imagined) saw me and stole my book (real…um imagined fears). I was a troublemaker back then and I guess that is why I was nicknamed Deedee. I used to do a lot of annoying things just to get a reaction from the other kids. My favorite irksome habit was singing silly name songs at the top of my voice (Georgie, Porgie was my favorite one). I have two brothers who had numerous friends (of course), this was like having my own army which gave me the bravado to bug others.
Anyway, I digress. I loved the library. My routine was to borrow books, read and return them. I then asked my parents to buy me the same books which I reread before adding them to my secret stash of books.
It’s at this time that I eventually graduated from storybooks to reading novels. My first novels were; The Client by John Grisham, The River Between by Ngugi Wa Thiongo and My life in Crime by John Kiriamiti
The library at my former high school had Pacesetter collection which I read with gusto. I used to hide them under my desk and read them in class and sometimes at night in bed under the covers with a torch illuminating the pages. The school library was not so well stocked though and so the students had to sneak around books like contraband. Good times!
“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”
― E.B. White
Bishop Okullu Memorial Library
Years later, I finally found my favorite library and book spot. It is big, beautiful and right at the center of my place of work. This is one of my favorite places and not just at work. This library is always quiet and cool even on the hottest days.
There is something magical about going through its doors and up the stairways.
My heart always races with anticipation as I get closer to my favorite section of the library. From habit, I never check the catalog in advance (there is no fun in that). The excitement lies in making new discoveries. I always take time to go through the book shelves, reading blurbs and occasionally hugging and smelling books that I have been looking for. Yes, normal people do that.
“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”
― Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber
Today I went to the library and found some gems that I have now added to my reading list. Here they are:
“Libraries really are wonderful. They’re better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.”
― Jo Walton, Among Others