This weekend, I saw a news clip about the start of summer heralding summer reading time. Suddenly, I was transported back to childhood with crystal clear memory of my two sisters and me visiting public libraries in New Mexico. Nostalgia overwhelmed me as I thought about how little I read for pleasure anymore since my eyes are screen-fried by my work that involves 100% reading and I’ve taken so few days off in the past 15 years.
In front of my favorite childhood library the size of a postage stamp, I remembered reading this quote as a kid because it described exactly how I felt about living in the desert. (I have not been able to travel much or return to New Mexico in 19 years).
Half the entire horizon is yours in one glance just for the looking, and the distance sort of gets into your soul and makes you feel that you too are big inside.
~Ernie Pyle for New Mexico magazine, quoted in The Story of Ernie Pyle by Lee G. Miller, p. 157-159
I checked if the Ernie Pyle House Library is still in existence, and am happy to see it has been preserved on the Register of Historic Places since 2006. Viewing its photo caused immediate tears because I saw three little people sitting in those chairs, looking at me from a much simpler time when books = technology, in a much different space in life than now. I would not be surprised if it is the same table that was there when we were younger than 10.
One book I loved discovering there I vividly remember: Paddle To The Sea along with many children’s mystery books (A House With a Clock In It’s Walls and anything illustrated by Edward Gorey) since that was my favorite genre at the time. I also remember the most magical, A String In The Harp. Grateful to my mom who shepherded us and our book stacks regularly to the cool libraries in the heat of summer.