I’ve just signed up to participate in a book festival sponsored by the Friends of the Duarte Library to sell my novels, SOWN IN TEARS and FLYING OUT OF BROOKLYN (It’s October 5, 10am-4pm, Duarte is just past Pasadena, if you’re in California). I’ve done book reading/signings at libraries before for both books, but this time my participation entails a fee. Which is fine by me. Libraries have been a major influence since childhood. I can’t imagine a life without them even though I’m often grateful to bookstores and Amazon when I purchase new books.

Some of my favorite childhood memories include wandering off to the local library with my cousin Judy, back in Philadelphia. She was almost two years older, but we were very close growing up. A movie or the library was our usual destination whenever I visited. In those days two kids could go off for the whole day without an Amber Alert going off. Sometimes we went to the Saturday matinee at the movies which began at 11am and at 8pm, we would see my uncle, Judy’s father, striding down the aisle determined to find two wayward little girls. We did the same thing on our trips to the local library. We never had much sense of time. First we had to kick through all the piles of leaves that had gathered outside. That was especially fun in autumn. Then we’d enter, overwhelmed by all the books, imagine how long it would take us to read every one, mainly in the fiction section. Of course we were still in elementary school, so we were restricted to children’s books, but despite our ages, we were convinced that we’d soon be old enough to be issued an adult card.

It’s a long time since, but I’m still trying to get through the shelves, although time and other projects have slowed my progress. I don’t have my childhood conspirator either, since Judy passed away, so my library trips have all been solo for a long time. But I’m happy to contribute to any library I can, in her honor.