Monday, October 2, 2017

Waiting for Wednesday by Ann Haywood Leal

She took us every Wednesday without fail.  After dinner, Mom would get behind the wheel of our white Chevy station wagon, and my brother and I would scoot into the back seat with our teetering stacks of library books and head to the Auburn Public Library.

It was a tricky balance, checking out just the right amount of books to last until the next week.  You all know that feeling:  that horrible, disjointed, queasiness of being without a book.  Possibly the only worse feeling would be if you had only a few pages of the last chapter left and you had to bring it back! Sure, you could renew it, but what-if-someone-had-put-it-on-reserve-and-Mrs.-Barnhart-the-Children's-Librarian-kindly-asked-you-to-hand-it-over! Okay, there was something worse.  What if it was a Nancy Drew book and Nancy had yet to tie things up with The Clue of the Tapping Heels??  

I can still smell the scent of the library foyer.  Even now, my heart still speeds up when I think about taking a right through those double doors and run-walking over to the Nancy Drew section.  I had already pored over the list of titles on the yellow back cover, memorizing the ones I had yet to get my hands on.  And would they be on the shelf today?  Would someone have finally returned the copy of Nancy's Mysterious Letter?!

But the true holy grail was two book shelves over to the left.  You probably already know what I'm going to say . . . <deep breath> . . . THE JUDY BLUME SECTION.  (You might be asking me:  Ann, did that really require all caps?  And of course I'd have to respond, yes.  Yes, it did, because I'm not sure if I can even continue our FB friendship, if you think otherwise.  :) )  And what if . . . <another deep breath and maybe a quick drink of water> . . . the library's only copy of ARE YOU THERE GOD?  IT'S ME, MARGARET. was right there on the shelf?!  Sometimes it could be a decoy book that fooled you.  The cover might have been a slightly brighter yellow than the real thing, and for a brief moment you would have felt cheated.  But when you had the real thing in your sweaty hands, it made Wednesday truly worth waiting for.

Have a great week, because guess what?  Only two more days until Wednesday!





6 comments:

  1. A lot of memories to relate to here! Love it.

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  2. Ann, was this you or was this me? I'm not sure we weren't the same person. Different states and different libraries but you just took me back! Thank you.

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  3. LOVE the phrase about the queasiness of being without a book.

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  4. And to think that some libraries refuse to shelve series books, deeming them "trash." One of my local libraries wouldn't allow Nancy Drew - how bereft you would have been, and hundreds of other little girls like you.

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