In Praise of Libraries

stack of books

Libraries have always been a big part of my life.

I remember the excitement of finally being old enough to join the tiny library in the village where I grew up; the responsibility of having a card to look after; the solemnity of the ritual where I would approach the counter with my chosen books and stand watching while the librarian stamped each one with a return date.

(25 years later I am still slightly ashamed that I was once careless enough to lose a book from that library. Sorry sorry sorry. I have no idea where it went.)

At primary school I was selected to be a student librarian. It was a pretty unexciting job – one for those of us who were diligent and smart, but not popular enough to be elected house captain. Still, it won me a red enamel badge with gold lettering, which I pinned to my denim jacket with pride. Continue reading

Map Geekery

Barefoot Books atlas

I mentioned in my BritMums post earlier in the week that once I’ve fulfilled my current commitments I’m not going to do any reviews on the blog… but that doesn’t mean that I can’t still have a big old gush about a company if I love them. This is one of those gushes. 

I’ve always been a map geek. I love them. Sometimes when I was a wee girl, instead of asking for a bedtime story, I used to sit with my Dad or my Grandpa and pore over a map of some place I’d never visited before. Maybe the Pennines, or Kansas, or Madagascar – it didn’t really matter – maps meant possibilities, adventures, fulfilling dreams. I had a brilliant jigsaw puzzle of the world, where all the countries were different colours, and you had to work out how they fitted together.

I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that I never really grew out of the map geekery; when I was eighteen I won the award for being the top geography student in Scotland. Give me a packet of colouring pencils and a map to colour in, and it still makes me happy.
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