Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Tribute to Libraries

Victoria Bylin

By Victoria Bylin

I wouldn’t be an author today without the benefit of public libraries. How many of you feel the same way? I bet a lot of us do. In honor of National Library Week, I thought it would be fun to share some memories and ask a few questions that we can all answer.

1. What was the first book you ever checked out of the library? I was only five when my mom took me to the Granada Hills branch of the Los Angeles Public Library for the first time. I came home with a treasure called Peanuts the Pony. It was square with thick library binding, tattered pages, and pictures of Peanuts with his friends. So cute! The first chapter book I ever checked out was about a pioneer girl named Caroline. That book started my love of westerns.

2. As a child or teenager, did you have a favorite series? What was it? The Black Stallion books by Walter Farley are at the top of my list. I read the first one about twenty times. I also enjoyed the Clara Barton books, Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books, and . . . if you’re a western reader you know what’s coming . . . The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Granada Hills Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library
3. When you visit the library, which section do you hit first? The new releases are usually in front, so I check those out right away. After that, I head for the fiction section. Sometimes I start with “A” and work my way through the alphabet; other times I’ll pick an aisle and start wandering. I like the nonfiction section too, but I don’t browse it like my husband does.

4. What’s the biggest overdue fine you’ve ever paid? I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve messed up a few times. The worst was in the neighborhood of $30 for multiple books. It was just one of those weeks, and with two kids, we had a lot of books out on multiple library cards.

5. What’s your best library or library-related memory? This happened at my first RWA conference in Denver 2002. I was wearing my RWA badge with my pink “First Sale” ribbon, standing in line with the crowd for the literacy signing. The woman in front of me looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. We started chatting and it clicked. She worked at my local library back in northern Virginia. Small world!

6. Do you have an all-time favorite library? Tough choice! If I go with the “bigger is better” philosophy, I’d have to pick the Central Library here in Lexington, Kentucky. It’s beautiful with a pendulum, rotunda and ceiling clock. On the other hand, the itty-bitty four-aisle library in Frazier Park, California met my reading needs for eight years. Big or small, I love them all.

Main Library Lexington KY
7. Tell us about a moment of discovery at the library. I’ll never forget the moment I discovered Section 808.11 at the George Mason branch of the Fairfax Co. Public Library in Annandale, Virginia. I was working on my first-ever ms (it later became West of Heaven published by Harlequin Historicals) when I realized I didn’t have a clue how to move past chapter three. The library catalog directed me to the craft book section. Lo and behold! There were dozens of books about writing. The first one I checked out was Jack Bickham’s The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes. It changed my life. I devoured everything in that section, but Mr. Bickham’s book was the one that opened my eyes the widest.

8. Did you ever want to be a librarian? Oh, definitely! I can’t think of a more wonderful place to spend the day. A big thank you to librarians everywhere. You have enriched my life more than I can begin to express!

Those are my favorite memories. How about you? When you hear “library,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing  for one of two giveaway copies of Victoria's latest release Together With You.
Click to Buy
Sometimes the most unexpected love can be exactly what a heart needs...When a Lost Child warning blares over the mall's PA system, Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that the child suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly's past suddenly confronts her. Never again will she become personally involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny--and Penny's handsome father--tugs at Carly's heart.

Dr. Ryan Tremaine is trying to put his life back together. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full time. Ryan has put his faith in his Sink-or-Swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruit Carly Mason to be Penny's nanny.

Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further?
Victoria Bylin is a romance writer known for her realistic and relatable characters. Her books have finaled in multiple contests, including the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and RT Magazine's Reviewers Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky, where their family and their crazy Jack Russell terrier keep them on the go. Learn more at


  1. I enjoyed reading your library memories - - thanks for sharing.

    Throughout my childhood, I loved our very small town library (I can still remember that *smell*!) and also the library at my elementary school. Very happy memories.

    In honor of Library Week, I'm tackling a project I've been wanting to do for ages, LOL. Like most writers I have TONS of books, but mine had gotten a bit disorganized. So I'm completely re-organizing them on my bookshelves, and have discovered some "treasures" I'd forgotten I have. :)

    Thank you again for sharing with us!
    Blessings, Patti Jo

  2. When I hear the word Library, I think back to all those times our librarian let me help shelve books, and then later I worked the public library, which was really the school library open to the community for a few hours each week

  3. Hi Victoria!
    Your post is so fun and brought up several great memories.

    My favorite books as a child were the Betsy books by Carolyn Heywood. I read every one several times. The story that grabbed me featured Betsy attending a wedding. She was given a small box with a piece of wedding cake and told that if she put it under her pillow she'd dream about her groom-to-be. At age 9-10, I thought that was fantastic! Ha!

    That little library held so many great kids readers and the librarians were very strict about noise, but kind when I asked for help. However, the best part was the location of that little branch - it was right next to a pizza parlor and WOW, did it smell good in the library when next door was baking away. I suppose that subliminally, I still associate libraries with the smell of dough baking. Talk about a comforting emotional tie!

  4. Thanks for sharing your movies. I remember reading Cherry Ames Student Nurse and as a teenager I loved S.E. Hinton.

    I worked in a medical library for several years and loved it. I now serve as the librarian at my church. Playing with books and spending someone else's money on great Christian fiction is about as good as it gets. Plus, I'll confess, I get to read whatever I want first!

  5. I didn't go to the library much. It was to far away and not very big. It's still the same. This book looks good.

  6. I've loved libraries since before I can even remember. My first ever job was shelving books at the local library. Best high school job ever since I got paid to find new books to read and see all the new releases before anyone else :)

  7. My first book to check out was from the Bookmobile when I lived in Japan and I loved it so much I checked it out five times in a row and then they told me I couldn't check it out anymore. That book was Junket by Anne H. White. My favorite series was The Adventure Series by Enid Blyton.

    Favorite library was the base library on Tachikawa Air Force Base in Japan. That is where I developed my voracious appetite for reading. They had summer reading programs to entice kids to read more. It was so much fun. That would be my best memory. For my favorite library, I would say the one that is in the town I live in. It isn't a huge library but they have a large selection of Christian Fiction and that suits me fine.

    You don't need to include me in the drawing as I already have Victoria's book sitting in my TBR pile. It's next up.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  8. As a child the weekly visits to the library were just so wonderful. The day I received my own library card - even better.

  9. I'm so glad to be at Seekerville today! Yesterday at 2:38 p.m. I sent my third book for Bethany House off to my editor. If you heard a "hooray!" booming out of Lexington, KY, that was me.

    It's always a great moment, but this latest book was a particular relief. Toughest story I've ever tried to tell, but that's a blog for another time.

    Now that it's done, I'm ready to play, rest and read . . . which leads to libraries. You're all reminding me of even more good things. That first library card . . . the smell of real books.

    I'm off to the day job but will be back later.

    Peace & Joy!

  10. Hi Victoria,

    I agree that the Lexington downtown library is the most beautiful library I've been in. I spent hours studying in the college library at UGA, so that's probably where I've logged the most time. But the Jessamine County library comes in second. Growing up in Elizabethtown, KY, my brother and I would walk to the library from my dad's drug store. Chris was a good brother, because I always wanted to stay longer than he did.

    Thanks for sharing today. I've already got your book and can't wait to start it.

    I hope you all have a great day!

  11. Oh, this is a fun post! I love the library. I never minded the past dues. I thought of them as donations to my favorite cause.

    With my books and my son and daughter's books, we were past due every now and then.

    I didn't get it from the library, but I loved my first Dick and Jane book.

    The small town I lived in didn't even have a library, so I was older before I got to experience the joys. :-)

    The Nancy Drew books were some of my first to check out.

  12. Victoria, I loved reading all your library memories! :) My favorite library is the Smiley Library in Denver. An old brick home-turned-library, if my memory serves correctly. At least that's what it's exterior reminded me of. I remember shining floors and a beautiful banister that framed the stair case that led downwards. My mom is a voracious reader, and we spent hours in that library. I remember moving from picture books to chapter books. Nancy Drew became my favorite series to check out and read as a girl. Going to the library was the highlight of my weeks. :)

    Please enter me in the drawing. I'd love to read your book!

  13. Raising both hands in love for the library! God bless Ben Franklin for instituting such a perfect solution to increasing education at nominal cost.

    Now if we could get the simplicity of that message through to our school systems!

    Victoria, so nice to have you here and I love that you ran into your librarian at the literacy signing. How fun is that????

    Loving libraries should be a rule. I'm sending Congress a note right now! :)

    I'm dropping off some delicious homemade chocolate chip/M&M cookies... and fresh coffee!!

  14. When I was teaching in a small Christian School I would take my students to our local library every year and show them how to use the card catalog and find the book. I was teaching k4 to 4th grade at the time. I would let them each pick out a book that we would keep in the classroom for them to read. The librarians loved to have us come. It is one of my treasured memories.

  15. Hi Victoria,
    I saw on FB when you finished your third together book and a hooray went up from Virginia too!

    Last year when you were here I won Until I Found You and fell in love with your writing, but I procrastinated about reviewing it until you mentioned you were closing in on that 100th review. So I got busy and became that reviewer.

    When I saw Together With You up for pre-order, I ordered it right away.
    All I can saw is WOW! What a terrific book! I'll do better getting my review in and might make #50 this time, LOL. I'm in love with Ryan, Carly and the whole Tremaine family, sigh worthy reading!

    Can't wait for book three. Thanks for spending all that time in libraries, it sure paid off.

  16. Welcome, Victoria! Your post really brought back memories for me! I don't remember the first book I ever checked out from our public library, but I do recall one early favorite, Secret of the Samurai Sword, by Phyllis Whitney.

  17. thanks for the walk down memory lane. I loved the branch library in Denver, where I grew up. They always had cool stuff and my mom took us there for free entertainment purposes enough that we'd occasionally bring plates of cookies for the ladies as thanks for all they did.

    my favorite series books were the Hardy Boys and Little House on the Prarie. I did like Harold and the Purple Crayon and the Amelia Bedila books too. The library was where I discovered sci-fi books and explored Asimov and others. I guess because deep down, I always wanted to be an astronaut.

    I really need to reconnect with the library system around here. Been out of touch for too long. It is, after all, a wonderful place for FREE entertainment and education. I'm really enjoying this library week posts at Seekerville.

    would love a chance at winning your book Victoria. sounds really neat! thanks for your visit and congrats on getting your third book out the door... awesome.

  18. I don't remember the very first book I checked out, but I remember getting Harold and the Purple Crayon books often. There was also a cool ABC book that used real objects that looked like the letters of the alphabet. I usually stick to the children's section of the library when I go now. I already have too many books on my TBR list! I worked at a historical (non lending) library when I was in college. It was very cool being around all the old books. We did some pretty interesting things :) I'd love to win a copy of your book.

  19. I forgot to mention I've only been to 3 libraries in my life. The one that was our local library when I was little (It had a really cool animal made out of huge pipes that we'd play on when we went to the library), the library at college and our local library. I don't remember much about the library when I was little (we moved when I was 8) but I loved to play on the animal!

  20. My favorite memories of the library are the times my mom would take me to a tiny little branch of our library (which has since been relocated to a bigger building, which is a fantastic place, too). It was part of a strip mall-esque line of businesses, and if you didn't know it was there, you'd probably miss it!

    I'd wander through the children's section, full of short shelves, colorful books, and spin racks of books in bags, which came with a book, a CD, and a toy. Those were my absolute favorite, and I remember my mom scrambling to find all the pieces when the due date came up... :)

    I am writing several research papers this week, so I suppose I'm celebrating the university library's databases!

  21. Welcome, Victoria! What fun photos of your libraries!

    The first books I remember reading on the Book Mobile and checking out are the Ramona books. :)

    I love the story about running into your librarian at RWA!! So exciting to do so as an author. :)

  22. Welcome back to Seekerville, Victoria! The first library in my memory was a library truck that came to our school. Anyone else have that experience? Wish I had a picture to share.

    I loved taking our daughters to our library branch for story time and to check out books.

    I love libraries. I used the current Writer's Market in our local library to submit to editors and agents. I tend to buy craft books, but one of my biggest thrills was seeing my books on library shelves. And going to the gorgeous Library of Congress in Washington D.C., awed that my books were there somewhere in some form.


  23. Vickie,
    Congrats on sending your finished manuscript! Celebrating with you today!

    I lived many years in Northern VA. Love that area. Graduated from Mt Vernon High. Yay, Majors! :)

    Also lived at Fort Knox, near Jackie's Elizabethtown--one of my favorite shopping places--and not far from beautiful Lexington! I can see you there...white fences, the KY Horse Farm, rolling hills, tobacco barns. Love the Bluegrass State.

    Many, many, many years ago, I checked out volumes of Writer's Magazine from my local library. The issues from each year were bound together in large binders. I read my way through 7 years of editions and learned so much.

  24. Missy, I see you did. The truck was called the Book Mobile. I'd forgotten.


  25. Hi Victoria, Welcome to Seekerville and thank you for the great post on library memories. Libraries are so important and such a blessing for all of us. Most of my library usage has been for research. I love how the librarians help and get so excited when we find important information.

    My favorite library experiences are when I taught kindergarten, I used to walk with my class each week and the students would each check out 20 books to take home. They were in the inner city and didn't have many at home so this way they had plenty of reading material. The librarian would read them stories and then they would select their books.

    The bonus was all that usage enabled the librarian to obtain more books. yay!. The students loved their weekly visit to the library and hopefully this established a great habit for them.

  26. Wilani, I love the image of that! You and the kids, trekking to the library! Yes!

  27. I love Library Week! I don't remember the first book, but my sisters and I loved to check out the books that came with a cassette tape to follow along with and a puppet :) I actually still use my first library card with my 5 year old signature on it! Our librarians have been kind enough to just tape the new barcodes on the back of it. It's a nostalgia thing...
    I loved the Little House books, too! I had my own set that I re-read so much they are falling apart and I need to get a new set for my daughter who just turned eight. I'm looking forward to reading them together with her. My go-to library is the La Mesa branch here in San Diego. The librarians are all so helpful, I can request my books online from all over the state in a special Link system and pick them up there, and the kids area is fun for my girls.

    I have a copy of your book already but please put my name in the hat for the library card pouch! Thanks!!!

  28. Deb H., I'm guilty of that, too. Life is so busy, I don't get to the library often except to donate books. The kids take their kids, so the tradition is continuing, but I loved what a God-send the public library was to me, growing up.

    So blessed to have them!

    My first chapter book I remember from the library was Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. And I recently bought copies of it for each of my children because that sweet story helped mold my life's choices.

    But it's interesting if you go and read it, the POV isn't strict like we expect it to be today, and I love that about it! She goes from omniscient to third person, back and forth. Today they'd smack her for "author intrusion" but honestly, the story is so charming, it's like having the story teller right next to you!

    I love it still.

  29. No need to put me in for the drawing. I LOVED your book. Commentors, if you don't win it, buy it!!!!

    I have lived in more libraries than I can count. I hid out in elementary libraries, read Dickens A Christmas Carol when I was supposed to be studying for exams in college in "the Stacks," took the kids to story time. But the ultimate thrill for me was getting my Library of Congress researcher card.

    Peace and thanks for a great post, Julie

  30. Great post. I love libraries because I love to read. I don't remember the first book I checked out of the library. But I usually checked out mysteries. My favorite series as a child was the Trixie Belden series. I wanted to be Trixie! Now when I go to the library I always know exactly what I want. I have so many books on my to read list that I never just browse to find something.

    I have always wanted to work at a library. I have applied for a part time job at our library several times and never even get asked to interview, so not sure what a person has to do to get in!

  31. This is a post to drool over. And the comments too. Such warm fuzzy library talk. Does my profession proud!

    The first thing that pops into my head when I hear library is 'home'. I came from a very dysfunctional family and the local library was my haven -- all those wonderful books my escape. And just like Patti Jo -- I remember the smell. If only they made an Ode to Old Books perfume!

    First book ever checked out -- one of the Babar picture books.

    Fav series --- Trixie Belden, of course!!!!!

    What section do I go to first when I visit the library? The holds section because I order in Christia Fiction from various branches. Then I like to hop over to the gardening section. And home decorating. And DIY.

  32. I forgot to say please enter me for the drawing.

  33. p.s. Just stopped in again to grab some of Ruthy's yummy cookies and coffee---exactly what I needed today! :)

    Reading some of the older titles lots of folks have mentioned has stirred even more sweet memories for me. I'm thinking back to Eddie and his goat (Gardenia?)--I think it was by Carolyn Haywood? And I loved Beezus and Ramona too, and soooo many others! Now I'm eager to get my hands on some copies of those precious stories. :)
    Hugs, PJ

  34. When I was a kid we were really poor. A dryland farm, eight kids, tiny house. There was little or no money to buy books but we went to the library every week. I would take out armloads of books.

    I loved that library then and I still love them now.

  35. Wonderful seeing you here, Victoria. I've spent many memorable hours in the library as a child and then with my two boys. When I got a little older, devoured all of Louisa May Alcott's books. Especially enjoyed going into the main branch of the public library here in Philadelphia. Such an imposing building. Yes, Ruthie, all this thanks to Philly's own Ben Franklin.

  36. Vicky! I haven't taken time to read any of my regular blogs in months. I was so pleased to open Seekerville and see you today! I loved reading your library memories and to see the photo of the Lexington Library. My favorite library local to us is Woodford County's library.


  37. Vicki I'm a huge Walter Farley fan. I might go back and read through the Black Stallion books just to see if they are as good as I remember.

    Farley is the first book I ever read that made me ask, "How did he do that?"
    That was the first time I was aware of the author and the skill, the way he dragged me into those horse races so I could FEEL those big, galloping bodies around me, smell the dirt kicked up off the tracks, hear the thundering hooves. I wish I could remember the first book I checked out but we started going so young.

    One that comes to mind was a book we owned called, "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" by Dr. Seuss. It led me to all his other books--at the library--and his writing was so charming and musical and DIFFERENT that I remembered Bartholomew (written in 1938) fondly the rest of my life.

    So when people say they love 'Oh the Places You'll Go' or 'The Cat in the Hat'...they were all Suess's 'new stuff' to me. :)

  38. I still sometimes think, "We are here. We are here. We are here."

    And, "A person's a person no matter how small."

    From Horton Hears a Who.

    And when the elephant bird was hatched in Horton Hatches the Egg, I remember, "It should be, it should be, it should be like that. Because Horton was faithful, he sat and he sat."

    Such charm.

  39. Good morning, Victoria. I just read about your new release on Sarah Ruut's blog....a coincidence to find you two times today.

    Thank you for sharing your library thoughts. My memory is not sharp enough to remember the first book I checked out, but I do remember the summer book program where we received stickers to put on a certificate for each book we read during the summer. I loved that!

    And you reminded me of a favorite childhood book--Caddie Woodlawn--which probably started my interest in collecting Newbery Medal winners.

    Congratulations on your release of Together With You which sounds intriguing!

  40. What a wonderful post to bring back memories! I have no idea what my first book was at the library, but I remember going there all the time as a child, especially for the summer reading programs! I remember being so proud my first year "graduating" to the big kid's program, and completing 10 chapter books that summer. I was maybe 7 or 8, and I felt it was a huge accomplishment!

    I also loved my elementary school library. The librarian really knew how to connect with kids, and that's where I was introduced to the American Girl books, Little House on the Prairie, Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic and more. I definitely credit Mrs. A for some of my love of reading!

  41. You bring back a lot of memories with this post, Victoria. My earliest recollection of a library isn't of a big one, but of a small private collection in a glassed cabinet at my grandmother's house. I used to sit on the floor, hidden away in a corner between the end of the couch and the fireplace, and browse through fascinating titles -- some of which I probably shouldn't have been reading at my young age. LOL.

    My favourite books during childhood were Albert Payson Terhune's many dog stories, and I'm still a dog person to this day, including them in everything I write.

    When I was making career decisions it was a toss up as to whether I should be a librarian or a teacher. Teaching won out, but I've aways had a love of libraries, too. Despite being a teacher, I strongly believe libraries, along with parents who read to their children, are the greatest contributors to children's education.

  42. So many thought provoking questions! And they really bring back great memories. In elementary school I walked home and there was a library on the way. I was too chicken to ask how the card catalogue worked so I began my life of browsing the stacks. It was there I found Beany Malone , which led me to romance!

  43. I worked as a library cataloguerfor many years so when my books started appearing in the Library of Congress data base I died and went to heaven. And when mI first saw them on the shelf was momentous.

  44. I walked into my local library with some of my books to see if they would let me donate them, and found a display set up of all of my books. That was kind of cool.

  45. I gave a speech at a library on Monday night. It was for writers.

    And I'm giving another speech NEXT Tuesday in Des Moines, IA, actually Clive, IA but it's a Des Moines suburb. This one for readers.

    Of course giving speeches is my FAVORITE THING!

  46. Patti Jo, I need to go through my books and get them organized. I NEED THAT SO BADLY. But it's overwhelming. Still, c'mon, Mary! You don't have to do it all in one day. Just one SHELF!

  47. I just got home from the day job and am loving the comments! Some of them make me feel like that little girl who read Peanuts the Pony and the Black Stallion books.

    Others remind me of college at UC Berkeley and UCLA. I spent *hours* in the carrels at Berkeley. No internet back them. No distractions except what was in my head :)

    And I want to give a big thank you for the love for both Together With You and Until I Found You. So glad to know readers are enjoying Carly and Ryan!

    Oh! And my Kentucky friends and neighbors! We're blessed to live in a beautiful place with wonderful people.

    Keep the comments coming! I wish everyone could win TWY because I really believe in the basic message.

  48. Love -- love -- love this post, Victoria! I'm at the library right now, as I write this comment. :-) I bring my homeschooled children once a week, to sit and do schoolwork, check out books, let the littles play in the play area. I remember as a child walking the book stacks and running my fingers over the spines. I discovered A Tree Grows in Brooklyn that way. A few years ago my family visited Washinton, D.C. and accidentally walked into the Folger Shakespeare Library. Best library ever!!!

  49. Hi Victoria!
    I love libraries. I used to work in one when I was in high school. What a fabulous part time job!
    I used to love the library in Grade school. Got all my Anne of Green Gable books and Victoria Holt books there!
    Thanks for sharing!
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  50. I loved this! I am a library girl through and through. I can't remember the first book I checked out, but I was a series fanatic. I loved Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley High, the Boxcar Children, Goosebumps, Fear Street, The Little House on the Priaire Books, etc. But my favorite were the Anne of Green Gables books...and as an adult some of the mini-series from Harlequin and Bethany House. Most of my time in the library has been spent in two sections: where they house the category romances and where true crime books are. I also go just to hole up in a corner cubby and write in peace and quiet. My biggest overdue fine was around $45-50 (I am horrible at returning things on time; Netflix was made for me with their no late fees policy). I don't have an all-time favorite library, but I would love to visit the Beinecke library at Yale and see those documents they have behind all those security measures. And of course I wanted to be a library. I STILL want to be a librarian. Particularly a head librarian that chooses books for a library. That would be a dream job for me.

  51. My friend and I went out today. Our first stop was a thrift store where I found 2 books I have been wanting. The next stop the library. I was able to renew my card and checked out some books to research for a book I would like to start writing by next year. My friend found a puzzle to work on while she waited for me. Not being able to drive is a bit of a challenge in getting to the library.

    Now I need to write.

  52. Hi Victoria. Thank you for sharing your library memories and for your mention of National Library Week. Most libraries are facing difficult times due to reduced funding and any recognition of their fantastic services is invaluable!
    I have Loved reading all of my life and my public library was then place I would have chosen for my home as a child. As an adult, it actually was my home away from home for 22 1/2 years. I was employed at Fleming County Public Library and, as is the case for most small libraries, the wearer of many hats. I loved every minute and I will always be the biggest supporter of libraries and of the AUTHORS who are part of those library collections.
    I have been fortunate to attend meetings at Lexington Public Library many times over my career. My library, FCPL, is about 60 miles from Lexington.
    I wish you continued success and I would love to win your book!

  53. MARY C!
    I adore Theodore Geisel. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins? talk about flash-back. That is a fave of mine. I need to get it for my little guy. He loves the lyrical cadence of Dr. Suess books. Of course, it may be how I read the books to him, but he'll choose a Dr. Suess over some of his "children's show" books (y'know, the books from cartoon shows on cable *sigh*).

    Someday I'm going to write a hero named Theodore just in honor of the man who brought me such wonderful books...

  54. p.s.
    another series I loved was the "Encyclopedia Brown" books about the kid who solved "mysteries" with his brain.
    oh... that reminds me "The Great Brain" series. Lordy, how I loved those.

    I gotta get to the library. So many books to share with Guppy...

  55. Speaking of overdue fines, the library I spend most of my time in now is in Onawa, Iowa, across the river from where I live.

    When my kids were in elementary school, they attended a one room country schoolhouse and once every two weeks we'd load the kids up and head for the library.

    They were so good to us. My daughters would bring home a scad of books and I once apologized to the librarian for how many got hauled out and she just smiled and said, "You guys are really helping our circulations number."

    I remember once we lost a bag of books, like ALL THE BOOKS THAT WERE DUE FOR THE WHOLE SCHOOL, were put in a big bag and it just VANISHED.

    Imagine the fines and the cost of buying all those books!

    The librarian just shrugged it off. "They'll turn up, for now let's just renew them."

    And you know what? About nine months later they did turn up, maybe 20 books. We took them in and no fines at all. They were so good to us there.

    1. I'm so curious! WHERE did they turn up, Mary?

  56. Mary, You win the prize for overdue books! That librarian sounds like a wonderful person. Wise too!

    My hat's off to all of you who have worked in libraries! I sure appreciate it.

  57. Growing up I loved our tiny hometown library. Such a fun post!

  58. >> The first one I checked out was Jack Bickham’s The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes. It changed my life. I devoured everything in that section, but Mr. Bickham’s book was the one that opened my eyes the widest. <<

    Ohmigosh, I'm re-reading that book now! It is one of my favorite writing books, along with his "Scene and Structure." Both books are worn, highlighted and pencil marked.

    I love libraries so much that as often as possible I visit them when we travel. If you're ever in Philadelphia plan a few minutes to see the Central Library on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Just amazing.

    Thanks for visiting Seekerville. Love your books ... looking forward to reading Together With You. (Wonderful cover.)

    Nancy C

  59. Dear Victoria, Thank you for the post. I love libraries. I spend a lot of time writing in them.

    I did want to be a librarian for a while (and shelved books as a volunteer during summer college months). I remember going to one school for second through fourth grade, moving, and then coming back four years later. I looked in a book about first ladies that I loved checking out and I was the last person to have checked it out. I loved books about presidents, Trixie Belden, and lots of other series.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  60. What a fun post! The library in my hometown is named The Carnegie. I can remember my daddy taking me for the first time to the library. I was too young to have a card, so he let me check out books on his card. I was so proud when I finally was old enough to have my own card! My favorite book as a young child was "Home for a Rabbit." As I got older, I read every book in the Nancy Drew series. And I loved reading all of Grace Livingston Hill and Ruth Livingston Hill's books.
    Please put my name in the drawing and thanks again for the walk down memory lane!

  61. I loved going to the North Branch of the Green Bay library. Today it's no longer there. I read all the Flicka, Ricka, Dicka series. And the Little House books. And I have a Master of Library Science degree.