Surround yourselves with books

Books are on my mind these days.

Not just those that I read every single day, but the idea of being surrounded by books.

With that in mind, think back to the library in your hometown. Mine didn’t have one, but we had the bookmobile that came once a week to our town. I remember as a kid and later as a teenager stepping into the bookmobile. There was the smell of the books and of the recording device that processed the books you took home. I’m sure the bookmobile employees probably hated my family. My mom would park next to the bookmobile and five of us would jump out while she held my little brother. To us, it was like Christmas. Two books each for one whole week. Wow.

Now, look at our local libraries. Kyle has been the proud owner of a large and improved library for several years now. The doors open into a meeting spot with tables, chairs and comfy couches. A meeting room to the side has been used for numerous gatherings and planning sessions. The ambiance is quite appealing.

Buda holds the grand opening of its new library this Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. When you walk into this new facility, you are welcomed with tabless, chairs and an expanse of decorative wood the invites you into the building. To one side is the state of the art library, with new books sitting beside the old, with private group rooms, with a large children’s area, and the smiling faces of the employees.

On the other side of the main entrance you see the city adminstrative offices. Yep, you can now check out library books and pay city water bills in the same building. By combining city hall, the library and having the new police facility located there, the city is able to combine use of the parking lot and meeting facilities. What a wonderful idea.

Finally, we have to think about the 21,000-plus students who will be starting school in Hays CISD on Monday.

They will be surrounded by thousands of books – or tablets and computers where reading materials have been loaded.

Some students will be excited, some scared (especially kindergarteners – and their parents), while otherstudents will be downright sad. Getting up early, giving up the summer freedom, and having the daily grind of homework on them makes some students to not want to return to school. But seeing their friends and favorite teachers has to make even the most resentful student smile a bit.

I always had mixed feelings about going back to school. I was glad to see friends on a daily basis, but hated getting up so early. But going into the library was always a thrill. We had a librarian who knew what you should and should not be reading. But I was able to convince her to allow me to check out most any book in the library. Once you had read through entire sections, and with your parent in tow, it was easy to get her to let me check out whatever I wanted.

Then, after getting out of college, I realized that I didn’t have to read assigned books anymore. I could read anything I wanted, and to this day I read several books a month. Some fiction, some science fiction, some biographies, some non-fiction. Mix it up and see how the mind percolates.

Once again, it is the thrill of making a choice of a book and diving into history or putting myself into that character.

Yes. I surround my self with books – whether those I hold on to or those on my kindle.

I just wish every student who enters school on Monday would love them as much as I do.

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