Libraries & Bookstores

Libraries & Bookstores…

My earliest memory of learning to read with ease was in second grade when I devoured all of the Dick and Jane readers with their charming illustrations. I remember sitting in the reading circle as each child read a page and not having to struggle to read the words. It was nothing short of a miracle! 

It was in the fourth grade when my reading really took off because I could read without needing any help. From that point on, I was always reading a book and that is how it has been my entire life. The library in our elementary school was so tiny, but it was well stocked and held many treasures. I discovered Pippi Longstocking, The Little House on the Prairie series, The Boxcar children, Little Women, The Moffats and so many other wonderful books. 

I’m a library person. I LOVE LIBRARIES!  I love to browse the stacks and check out a bunch of books. It’s so relaxing and such a luxury to bring home so many books! Do I read them all? No, but I usually read one or two before they are due back. Then I check out another stack and on it goes.

That’s not to say I don’t love bookstores because I do and my local bookstore is one of the best! Founded in 1898, Gibson’s Bookstore is a community treasure and I am a frequent customer. The kind of books I tend to buy are books I can reference such as cooking, gardening, art, self-help, etc. I rarely buy fiction because I usually only read it once. I like to buy books I can go back to time and time again. These kind of books are always on my Christmas/Birthday lists! 

My favorite bookstore of all time is The Strand in NYC. Founded in 1927, it’s a New York City landmark. They like to boast “18 Miles of Books and Counting.” It is HUGE!  If you are book lover and find yourself in NYC, you MUST take time to check out The Strand. 

When I visit The Strand, my destination is always the second floor art section. Nearly the entire second floor is filled with new and used art books. Oh my goodness…it is truly a slice of heaven. I have to go in with a budget in mind otherwise I find myself in deep trouble. Similar to what I do in the library, I gather a huge stack of books then retreat to one of the benches to do some serious browsing so I can divide and conquer. The “Yes” pile sometimes needs to be winnowed down further and the rejected books go on my wish list. I can spend hours in that bookstore, it is so wonderful.

So many books, so little time…

NOLA bookstore
A crazy old used-book bookstore in New Orleans. I forget the name. You could not see the titles of most of the books and they were stacked to the ceiling! I’m guessing the owner didn’t really want to let go…

I can’t tell you what it was that started me on my lifelong love of reading. There was no magical moment that I remember. However, I am so happy that I did develop a love for reading because it’s always been such a lovely and enriching part of my life. I wish everyone loved to read and could understand the joy of reading. It’s such a gift.


You can read more about Laura Morrison and see her art at