West Valley Public Library

West Valley Regional Branch Library - Reseda, CA, United StatesFirst to Review

To be ten again...

The summers of my youth were spent here, from ten in the morning when they opened until late in the evening when they closed. Every day, if my mom let me, I would come here.

Over summer break, my teacher would hand us a reading assignment: read as much as you can, read anything you can, and write down how much you read. There was some prize involved - a book marker, a sticker set, something. I don't think anyone came even remotely close to how much I read as a child.

Fifty books a month, during school. Summertime, maybe a hundred, hundred fifty. English was my worst subject, but once I got the hang of reading, it became my lifeline. I didn't have friends. I was still terrible with the language. But I could read. If I didn't know what a word meant, I would look it up, or keep it in the scratchpad of my mind - remember this word, remember the context, and the next time you see it, recall that context, and you will understand.

I started with picture books. Curious George was my first favorite. That lasted only the first few years, until I truly learned how to read. Then I devoured the entire childrens and young adult section. I would read all day, and then check out huge stacks of books for the night. I'd read at home, read in bed, read with the flashlight until my parents told me to stop. I'd come back in the morning, return the books, and repeat this, day in, day out, for years. By my early teens, I read only science non-fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. Strangely, the only books I ever read of Isaac Asimov were his nonfiction ones.

I remember the smell of the stacks, the sourness of the acidic paper. It made my mouth water. I remember the feel of my beat up library card, bent in a hundred places and soft from use, and the thunk thunk thunk as the librarian would check out every book through the machine. I remember the resistance of the turnstile as I left, and the feel of the evening sun on my face as I walked outside, sat in the adjacent park, and waited for my mom or dad to come pick me up.

It's Interesting

  • The Platt Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library was built in April of 1995, and is located on Victory Boulevard near Platt Avenue, for which it is named, in the west San Fernando Valley.
    For decades, there was a sign on the lot proclaiming that it would be the future site of a library.
  • The Sewickley Public Library is the public library serving the Quaker Valley School District. The library can be found in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, a borough that is located 12 miles (19 km) west northwest of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. A community and cultural resource since 1873, the Sewickley Public Library was established to provide...
  • Horné Lefantovce (Hungarian: Felsőelefánt) is a village and municipality in the Nitra District of the Nitra Region, in western Slovakia.
    In historical records the village was first mentioned in 1113.
    The village lies in the centre of a west facing valley, at an altitude of around 190 metres and covers an area of 18.603 km². A small stream runs...

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