Sunday, June 25, 2006

Wayback Machine, Number One

On these hot summer days, all I have to do is go outside and hear one mourning dove and suddenly I'm nine years old racing around the neighborhood on my bike and eating snowcones and wearing a swimsuit all day and truly believing that life will be like this forever.
I'm not sure I would recognize a mourning dove if I saw one, but that sound sums up summer and childhood in four soft notes. Throw in some lightning bugs and the scent of honeysuckle, and I might even forget the chiggers.
I'd remember them when I got back inside, though.
Back then, the public library was the only air-conditioned building in town. Do you suppose that had something to do with the fact that most of the kids in that generation hung out there a lot and became readers in the summertime?
The library also required silence and decorum, and we kids rose to that occasion, too. Nowadays, even the adults don't know how to behave in a library.
Those were the days. I practically lived on my bicycle, and almost every day that bicycle was parked outside the library for an hour or so, while I cooled down from my frantic exploring of my little world, and explored the worlds of other people. I was lost in an aura of wonder and respect for the many worlds that library contained.
I have never lost that aura of wonder and respect. But I seldom go to the library now, for it is no longer that cool haven of quiet peace. Now, the library seems to be a big day-care/recreation center, full of loud disrespectful adults and children who are not required to behave properly in a public place.
Back in the day, the librarians kicked people out if they chose to behave like barbarians. Nowadays, I guess that would be politically incorrect. Too bad.
When did it happen, that books had to sing and dance like TV for a person to give them a second look?
Many books for kids have a lot of buttons to push and little interactive conversations to listen to. Novelties abound. Heh.
But LITERATURE? Oh, it's still there. It might be a little dusty, but it's there. Hurry down to your library and check some out before it's all put in the 'Monthly Book Sale' to make room for more cheap huge-print limited-vocabulary condescending thirty-page talking jingling squeaky-clean politically correct "novels" for children.
Nancy Drew isn't even safe. She's been modernized and revised so many times, the original Nancy wouldn't even pass the time of day with this new Nancy.
Political correctness? A little of that goes a looooong way in the world of books. How about we all try to use our brains instead, hmmmmm?
I still have that cool, quiet library full of actual books and people who knew how to behave themselves in my dreams. They can't take that away from me. (cue Gershwin)
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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:09 PM | |


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