The Best Things in Life ARE Free

My love affair with reading began with a two-shelf wooden bookcase in the corner of our family living room. The top shelf held a row of old furrowed paperbacks with yellowed dog-eared pages, the bottom mostly the same. Except for the Big Book, a Children’s Encyclopedia, purchased for my older brother, who rarely glanced at it. I suppose as a four-year old, my initial fascination with that book was a direct result of my wanting anything my big brother had, but once I opened it, the colorful photographs mesmerized me. Big vivid pictures of animals, nature, and people in costumes the likes I’d never seen before.

I’d gaze at the images and my imagination escaped to a different place every time. I couldn’t wait to learn to read, and once I started school, “library time” quickly became my favorite “subject.” When I was in second grade, a public library was built within walking distance from my house, and it changed my young life. I proudly obtained my own library card, which gave me permission to take home any book I wanted—for free!—and taught me the responsibility to make sure I returned them in time.

Having access to all those books and experiencing all those great stories, the library became the vehicle that drove my passion to become a writer. In college, I learned to use the library for more than just reading books. Researching facts became a beloved passion, even when I wasn’t working on a project. When I began writing my first nonfiction book, Rock ’n’ Roll and the Cleveland Connection, it was the library, not the Internet, that I sought out and whose sources I most trusted, along with the astute librarians.

Throughout my life, the library has been, and remains, an enchanting place.

And unlike other forms of entertainment, and education, it also remains free. Lucky us.

Deanna Adams is an award-winning writer, essayist, speaker, and author of six books, both fiction and nonfiction. She will be presenting her “Setting – And Meeting – Your Writing Goals” class at our Chardon Branch on Wed., Jan. 10, 7 p.m. Free. Register here.

She is currently reading Windy City Blues by Renee Rosen, of which she says, “It’s amazing – esp. because it has a lot of music history in it, which of course is right up my alley!!  I was already a fan of hers and thrilled to announce that she will be one of our presenters at the Western Reserve Writers conference April 28 (at Cuyahoga County Public Library’s South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch)! She lives in Chicago but is making the trek because she’s an Akron native and still has family there.”
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