At every stage of my life there have been books. As a kid growing up, a special gift book each Christmas from my mother. My country school library. During summers, there was the bookmobile.
As an adult, there have been books, bookstores, and libraries throughout the years. In fact, on every vacation I made it a point to visit the local library in towns on my trip. I read books about the area and looked up local writers, added them to my new authors list. Later, I worked as a public librarian and enjoyed open access to books. Got paid, too!
Several times I’ve blogged about the public library in Eureka Springs (AR) established with funds from the Dale Carnegie Foundation. (February 2016 and July 2016, NancyHartney.com). With special glee, I found this very library in Remote Access: Small Public Libraries in Arkansas by Sabine Schmidt and Don House (2021). The book sports an introduction by Robert Cochran, Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Constructed from a deep well of passion for Arkansas culture, her rural communities, and personal interviews, the book offers a priceless coffer of text and photographs. There is a certain nostalgia and joy in examining rural places and in finding a richness to the people that populate them. Remote Access is available through the University of Arkansas Press.
Not only have I loved books forever, been a book club leader, and collected more personal books that I have shelf space for, but I have also published three books and working on a fourth. As communities disappear, books go out of print, and cyber-media gobbles up time and energy, printed books still open hearts, minds, and adventures to those that read.