I am very excited that on Friday, July 26, I will be doing a book signing at the Hampton (Iowa) Public Library. I can't even calculate how many hours I spent in that place growing up. Now that I think about it, it was probably the only place in my young life where I had total freedom of choice. There was a kindly librarian--I regret that I do no remember her name--who at one point suggested trying some different writers; my friends and I were embroiled in the sugary single-plot Grace Livingston Hill books, but it was only a suggestion. I have told my grandchildren that I was often admonished by my parents to "get your nose out of that book!". They, of course, find that amusing, since their parents would like them to get their noses out of a video game and into a book.
And judging from pictures on the website, the Hampton Library has been redecorated inside with brighter colors. That's great, but I also remember with fondness the dark, neutral interior that was very reliable and comforting.
Another difference that just occurred to me: in those days, most book covers were essentially the same and there were no dust covers on the ones in the library. So there was more mystery involved in choosing your next read. The cover might be red, black, gray or brown with black or gold printing of the title and author, but no other clues to the interior.
There is an added bonus on this trip. We will be camping at nearby beautiful Beed's Lake State Park, another childhood haunt. Speaking of haunting, I wonder if we will see the Lady of the Lake walking at night with her lantern, looking for her lost children...