My Childhood Library, Illustrated

originally published on Medium in their collection, Library Stories

You had to time your visit right — they closed midday for lunch and reopened in the evening.

A low wall encircled most of its perimeter, and it was easy to pretend it was the wall walk of a medieval castle.

There were two entrances. I always chose the side door.

Inside, the air felt different. Everything was hushed and dimmed. Even the quietest sound was loud.

Eerie artifacts from the town’s history lined cases along the hallway into the library’s main room.

The library’s most loyal patrons were the very young and the very old.

Behind the front desk, the librarians were busy organizing materials, but you always knew they had half an eye on what you were up to.

I never rushed my search for the next book.

At the desk, the librarian would stamp my stack of books.

And I’d have two weeks to see where they might take me.