Thursday, July 31, 2014

All you need is.. Library Love!

For some reason people think I'm kidding when I say some of my fondest memories as a child were spent going to my local library.

I was one of those kids that enjoyed going to school, learning and the entire education process as a whole. I was (and still am) a self professed bookworm. I actually enjoy reading. I'm puzzled as to why this concept seems so difficult for some to believe. I use to walk and read on my way home from school each day. Not the safest way to cross the street at eleven years old, but hey my peripheral vision some would argue is better than my actual vision.

I remember my older brother being embarrassed by his "geeky" bookworm sister. He was in middle school while I was still in elementary, it was his job to meet me after school at Baskin Robbins across the way from P.S. 69 and walk home together (This was where I started my first job years later at 14). I can still see the mortification on his face one day when he walked in and saw me doing my homework while waiting. (Gasp) I was required to walk/read about a half block behind him and his friends so they wouldn't find out we were related. I had crazy wild curly hair (still do), with bunny teeth (still do), and bright red Sally Jessy Raphael looking glasses (I would still rock those if I could find them). Wouldn't YOU want to be related to me??? (To his credit he has since reformed but lovingly calls me his white baboon, we are very close).

Anyhow, I digress..

The library to a kid like me was a place of endless possibility! I felt like not only could I be anything I wanted while I was there, I already was it. When I decided I wanted to be a judge, I went to the library and checked out a book on legal terminology. I figured if I was going to be the first Puerto Rican Supreme Court Judge I'd better learn the lingo. I would watch Court TV and listen to "the dance" between lawyers in the courtroom and practice using "Objection!" and whether or not I felt it was cause for "Overruled" or "Sustained" (I still do this). The Library fueled this need inside of me to figure out who I was and what I really wanted to do. I would decide what sort of profession I wanted to learn about that day, find a book about it and disappear into the pages in a quiet corner at the end of an aisle. I had a ritual, I would open the book I was interested in to about half way and take a big sniff (I still do this). There is a comfort in the smell of an old library book that I just can't get from a newly printed book, or my Nook Book. It may be the quality of the paper, or the richness of the ink that sparks such wanderlust. It makes me sad sometimes to think that there may very well be a generation who will not understand this feeling.

We visit our local libraries often for story time and to round up a bunch of books to bring home, it feels great to share this joy with my children. I was able to see the same big bright smile as my oldest son got his first library card this summer. His face lit up with excitement of the same endless possibilities I still feel when I walk through those double doors.

One of my favorite quotes is:

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."


It's really important to me to be able to instill the same values in my children. That no matter how impossible, crazy or even outlandish an idea may seem to others, if it is your dream it is possible. The things that matter to us, or speak to us are not random. They are a part of our calling it seems, in some aspect. If you follow that little voice inside you, I believe it will in some way help someone else. Whether it be to follow their dream or help someone else along the way.

With that being said, I have decided to add a new segment to the Essentially Erika blog. A Book Club of sorts, entitled "What I'm Reading". I will be posting great reading material that has contributed in some way over the years and presently to the thoughts, ideas or values that this blog's foundation is built on. It will most likely be based on subjects such as parenting, early childhood development, nature, music & the arts or even the dreaded self-help book sprinkled in here and there for good measure. It's a running joke that whenever you come to me with a problem, I'm sure to have a book recommendation for you. Well now it's official!

What have you checked out recently? Have any good book recommendations? I'd love to hear them!

Essentially Yours,


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