Like all authors, I grew up reading and making weekly treks to the library. I grew up in the fifties, before everyone had a television. Certainly, we didn't. But our small West Texas town had a wonderful library on the city square. It really was rather small, but to a child the steps up to the big heavy door seemed long, the building imposing, and the inside large and exciting. Mother dropped me off while she shopped, or she sat and read a newspaper while I roamed through the children's books to find just the right ones.
The Bobbsey Twins books were my early favorites, those I remember reading at a very young age. Each book transported me to a frightening mansion, a secret hideaway, a tree house, or a mysterious locket. The twins' abilities to solve mysteries astounded me. Fuuny, I never saw them as children like myself, though. To me, they were larger than life characters who had abilities I could not imagine.
The Strawberry Girls series were my favorites. I couldn't get enough of the comical girl with the pigtails and bucket and overalls. Her adventures took place outdoors, and I couldn't wait to find the next book. I could check out several books, but I never checked out more than one of a particular type at a time. To savor and anticipate became almost as exciting as the book itself.
The Nancy Drew series were probably the most widely-read books of their kind. I enjoyed them very much, but I grew tired of them. Now I believe I read those when I was too young to appreciate them. All these old books can be found today on websites and eBay.
I couldn't find images of the Famous American series. All told, I loved these the most. The actual book was about the size of our trade paperbacks today, and about half-an-inch thick--hardback. Reading these taught me about George Washington Carver, Nancy Hanks, George Washington, Eli Whitney, Florence Nightingale, Sacajawea, Louis and Clark, Daniel Boone, Sitting Bull, and dozens of others. I loved the black and white drawings. Each character was glorified in some way, with a simple story, making me proud he or she was an American.
I love my local library. San Marcos, Texas Public Library is the busiest library I've even seen. It's big and sprawling, with a big children's area complete with room for shows and performers. They offer free income tax preparation, rooms to hold private meetings, classes on the computer, musical performances at night in a meeting room, tutoring for non-English-speaking residents, informative lectures, and of course, rows and rows of books. Just last week, the library celebrated the purchase of the 150,000th book. That's probably small for many towns, but for us--it's an important milestone.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress