The musty smell of books, old and new, fills the air and the only sounds to be heard are the clicking of keyboards and flipping of pages. The library is a magical place, an escape from reality, you could even say, because inside, it is almost like time stands still.
I practically grew up at the Grant R. Brimhall Library. Being a book nerd, the endless rows of shelves and pages waiting to be turned intrigued me from a young age.
My earliest memory of the library is from kindergarten. My mom promised me I could get my first library card once I turned five and, sure enough, on my fifth birthday I was at the library filling out the paperwork and beaming for the camera. If this is any indication of my library obsession, I still have that card today.
I don’t have many other memories about the library from that age but I definitely know that by second and third grade, going to the library was almost like going to Disneyland, with unexpected surprises and magical experiences.
What felt like endless rows of shelves and an infinite number of books made my experience that much more magical. I felt so grown up wandering the aisles on my own, while my mom would help my brother pick out his books.
One of my favorites was the Boxcar Children. Mystery novels were my favorite and those adventures never disappointed. The books in that series spanned rows and rows on the shelves and there must have been hundreds of books to pick from.
Every time I went, I would find new ones that I still hadn’t read. After a few trips to find the series, I knew where it was located by heart and without fail it would be my first stop every library trip.
I remember leaving the library with stacks of books, so tall I couldn’t even carry them all. We brought tote bags to carry everything my brother and I picked out and, on occasion, our receipt passed a foot long.
As I got older my mom would pick out books for me when I couldn’t make it to the library myself. I would usually get around 10 at a time and would spend the afternoon reading the synopses and arranging the books, with my favorites at the top of the stack. I spent all my free time happily reading away and within two weeks I would typically have finished the stack and be ready for my mom to take another library run.
I explored magical fantasy kingdoms with dragons or fairies, followed along as kid detectives unraveled complex and puzzling clues to solve mysteries and experienced the adventures of a lifetime all from my room.
But even as I entered middle school, the magic never completely faded. I graduated to the Young Adult section and there I found shelves stretching up to the ceiling with even more books than the children’s section. The stories were grander and even more awe inspiring than the ones I had read before.
I fell in love with the towering shelves, the maturity required of me and the new mystical adventures I discovered. There I found some of my favorite reads including Divergent and Red Queen, both set in a dystopian world where a teen girl tries to find meaning in her life and create equality and peace in her community.
Even now, while I spend my days pouring over textbooks and district–mandated literature, I feel the library calling to me and find myself wishing for when I can get the chance to visit the magic again.