In order to get the best cubby, we had to choose our books fast. As second graders, this meant planning ahead — knowing our favorite author, or, the next in the series. Once our book was checked out, it was a race for the coveted cubby hole. I had my favorite; unfortunately, it was everyone else’s, too.
The library of my public school, the new one I attended after transitioning froman alternative private school, was filled with light. Airy, peppered with skylights, blue-carpeted walls (?!), and… the cubbies. The holes themselves (there were about 5 real cubbies, with some half-cubbies in the loft (!) section of the library) were spacious enough to not make us feel cramped, but snug enough to make us feel safe. Nestled into the oversized cushions inside, looking out was akin to a being a fish in a fishbowl — safe and secure, seeing the outside world, but not really a part of it. Though words and stories were already very close friends of mine at this point of my life, this was the library that solidified and changed my relationship with word and book – it helped me to equate that word and book was a place that was mine, a place that I could always rely upon, a place for me to return to. Later, living in different parts of the States, and then raising my own children to be word, book and library lovers, I didn’t know what path I was going to travel down next. But it was always certain that it would involve words on paper or in a book.