Friday, 21 June 2019
First posted on ‘An Awfully Big Blog Adventure’.
My lovely library day. by Anne Booth
I just thought I’d share one of the loveliest book-related things to have happened to me recently, which happened this month, on the 4th June, which was my dad’s birthday. He died aged 90 in 2017, so he would have been 92.
I was feeling recently , as many authors do, rather disheartened and tired, stressed by deadlines and wondering how much energy I have to carry on, wondering when I will earn more money etc etc. It can be so easy to get discouraged and wonder if being an author makes a difference and if there is room in such a crowded market. There are so many books out there…does the world really need more of mine? Maybe it is all just too difficult.
And then my local state primary school asked if I would come and open their new school library. And I said ‘yes’. I have lots of lovely books by lots of other authors in my home, so I donated copies of my books and a box of other people’s, fiction and non-fiction, because I don’t expect the library to ONLY have books by me in it!
And I gave an assembly about how books are like people – we should respect them all and give them a chance, but it is all right to want to spend more time with some, than others. And I told the children about other people’s wonderful books and it made me feel more enthused about children’s books in general, and I realised I should take my own advice and remember there is room for all sorts of books and voices in children’s lives – and that included mine!
Later, they asked me wonderful questions about my books and writing and that was very encouraging too.
So, I did the assembly and then they asked me to open the library..
I cut a ribbon (I have NEVER done that before!) and I go in, and it has a beautiful wooden throne for a reading chair, and brightly coloured book shelves with lots of books the teacher librarian has worked so hard to classify and order, and cushions, and I pose for photos with the children (I haven’t seen any yet) and I look over and I see, on the wall, this:
And it was such a surprise! And I love that it was on my dad’s birthday, because, born in 1927, he HATED school and never enjoyed reading, and what he needed as a child, was a school library just like this, full of a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books he could have chosen from. He would have been astonished to think that his daughter had opened a school library! And I am so happy and grateful to that lovely teacher librarian and school for asking me to do something so wonderful and unique – and I would never had got to do it if I had not been an author!!