In today’s edition of Fun Facts with Hannah B: Did you know it is National Library Week? I used to love visiting the library. My elementary school librarian still looms as this magical figure in my head. She introduced me to Curious George and haiku, and I will never forget the day I learned to look things up all by myself in the card catalog.
Trips to the library with my mom were frequent too, which is where I met Harriet. Harriet was my favorite. Finally a girl who also carried a notebook everywhere she went–a habit I developed early and never gave up.
If you look at the inside cover of my copy of Harriet the Spy, you’ll find this inscription scrawled by a 8 or 9 year old hand:
There’s this line in Harriet the Spy that I love, and it’s at the very beginning. Sport wants Harriet to play football and she’s too busy setting up her imaginary town. She’s trying to tell Sport what and where everything is, but he doesn’t seem to buy it. So she asks him what he’s going to be when he’s a grown-up.
“You know what. You know I’m going to be a ball player.”
“Well, I’m going to be a writer. And when I say that’s a mountain, that’s a mountain.” Satisfied, she turned back to her town.
I love that. First of all, that she’s so convicted about what she wants to be. Like I mentioned last week, not only is that rare, things often don’t turn out exactly as we plan. But everything Harriet does is geared toward her end goal. She’s a writer so she writes.
Second, the power her statement gives writers! “…when I say that’s a mountain, that’s a mountain.” Writers create magical worlds that we must commit to every time we open a book. I have a personal policy of giving up on books when I’m not digging them. Reading is a pleasure and committing my time to a book means it becomes a part of your own story. So I’m pretty choosy about what worlds I want to buy in to. What is it Kathleen Kelly says? “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading your whole life does.” True dat, homegirl!
Today, I’m suggesting you take a trip to the library this week to celebrate National Library Week. Libraries are these magical places for commitment phobes like myself that don’t like spending money but really like committing for two week increments to beautiful piles on their side table.
There’s a collection of my current favorites below to get you started. (The list changes with the wind, but this happens to be today’s so enjoy it while it lasts!) Also of note: my new favorite thing: This tote bag by Emily McDowell.
My Life in France by Julia Child / Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell / The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell / Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling / Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster (this is another fav of her’s) / The Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman