This week's edition of the Summer Library Series comes from Heather Anastasiu who grew up attending the Buda, Texas public library and, like many children of small-town libraries, found herself leaving the children's section early to mingle among the adult books. With their scent of past and page, and the columns of date-due stamps, the physicality of the books themselves led her into imaginative explorations.
LIBRARY AS LOCUS
by Heather Anastasiu
I’d . . . try to imagine all the other people
who’d held the same book in their hands.
|Public Library, Buda, Texas|
Photo by Calsidyrose,
used under CC license
I liked how cold it was inside the library, a safe haven from the Texas summer. I liked the way the books smelled. That library gave me a great love for the physicality of books—the worn spines, the sometimes coffee-stained pages, the feel of the paper between my fingers. I’d pull out the little check-out cards in front of the book and look at the dates stamped on it and try to imagine all the other people who’d held the same book in their hands.
That love for the feel and smell of books stays with me still. In fact, when I got a finished copy of my debut novel in the mail last week, one of the first things I did was crack it open and inhale.
Heather Anastasiu lives with her husband and son in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she is at work on a fantasy trilogy for young adults. The first novel in the trilogy, Glitch (St. Martins-Griffin, 2012), debuted this month. Anastasiu is currently on her online book tour.
Check out Worldcat.org to find out whether your local library has works by Anastasiu.