Yesterday, April 10, was National Book Mobile Day. I discovered the book mobile when I was a 5th grader at Frostfield in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Several smaller districts had been folded into our district and students were bussed hither and yon. Fifth and sixth graders went to Frostfield. It felt like it was miles and miles from home. It was just under three miles.
I don’t remember the actual vehicle. I suspect it was one of the white trailers. What I do remember is climbing steep, narrow steps and coming out into a room that was bookshelves from one end to the other. I’m sure the librarian told us which section held the books for young readers and I headed straight for the yellow spines of the Nancy Drew books.
When I found out that I couldn’t get one without permission, they were too old for me, I immediately fetched my teacher. I suspect that the librarian was used to young readers who found reading difficult, but my teacher assured her that she could let me have anything I wanted. Anything.
I’m still an enthusiastic library patron and I still check things out from the St. Louis County Library. In fact, I keep a shelf here in my office just to hold my library books. On that shelf, at any given moment, are novels, picture books, graphic novels, nonfiction, print and audio. I have to admit that I haven’t read any Nancy Drew in a very long time but I’m contemplating a story idea that will require a refresher.
Thank you to the many librarians who have helped me out in various school libraries and in the county library. You fed the love for books that I hope to pass on to young readers through my own books.