Why you should visit your childhood library

Illustration of a young girl on a cloud surrounded by classic children's books over a background of rainbows and stars
Gloria Zhixin Yang/Staff

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After two weeks of relaxing, hanging out with friends and being a couch potato, it was time to get back to work. However, I found it extremely hard to focus at home. In an effort to save money, I decided I was going to start going to the library. Even though I typically liked going to another library that was nicer and bigger, it wasn’t realistic for me to drive 20 minutes every commute. So, I opted for a local one instead.

When I stepped foot into the library, everything felt strangely familiar. The lighting, layout and desk were just like how they appeared 10 years ago. I felt brought back to the childhood where all I had to think about was whether Ralph’s sold the silly bands I wanted and if the neighbors could come out to play that day. 

I couldn’t help but walk into the children’s section equipped with board games, Legos and miniature sofas. Of course, this is where I decided to do my work for the day. It felt comforting to be in a space that changed so little, and I felt at peace for some reason. 

After successfully getting some work done, I decided to walk over to the area with my favorite book stands as a kid just for nostalgic purposes. I slowly started turning the rotating bookshelves one after the other and noticed a few familiar titles. It was as if they appeared for my very eyes, from “American Girl,” “Judy Moody” to “Who Was…?” and “The Rainbow Magic” series. All of my favorite books remained just like how I borrowed them at 10 years old. Out of curiosity, I decided to pick up a copy and start reading.

Maybe it’s because I am in college now or maybe my attention span has just shortened from the fast pace of media, but I haven’t sat down and completely read a book from start to finish since high school. To my surprise, I ended up finishing the “American Girl” book in one sitting and was even left wanting more. In general, I found the experience very therapeutic and have been going back every couple of days or so ever since.

At an age and time where clubs, school, finding internships and part-time jobs are often the priority on our checklist, it’s sometimes difficult to take a step back and remember when our lives were most simple. I was able to do so through visiting my childhood library. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to as well!

Contact Erica Jean at [email protected].