As part of Book Week Scotland, the Scottish Book Trust is asking us to write a love letter to our libraries – to tell them what they mean to us and why they are important. Here is my love letter.
My first was Aberfeldy. The librarian there said I was her best customer. Granny always told me I was desperate to read for myself and, once I could, there was no stopping me. I remember the wonder I felt on my first visit. The realisation that I could choose any book, take it home, then bring it back and swap it for another. So many books. So much choice. I even remember the first book I borrowed – Five on a Treasure Island.
Since then, no matter where I’ve lived, I have sought out my local library.
My current one is Fountainbridge in Edinburgh. What a beauty! Probably the best looking library I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. It helped me to research my latest novel. I take my daughter there, to sing songs and listen to stories at the Bookbug sessions.
I would never have read so much if it wasn’t for my local library. Who could afford to keep up with my reading habit, or have room to store all the books? Because I read lots and love books, it was a natural progression to want to write my own. I’m the person I am today because of my local library. It scares me to think who I would be without their constant presence in my life.
So thank you library. I will do my best to look after you and protect you. No matter where I’ve lived, I’ve always had a library to go to. I want that to be the same for my daughter.
I’ll be at South Queensferry Library on Wednesday 26th November to read from and chat about my latest novel, Swim Until You Can’t See Land. Please come along and say hi. It’s free and you can get tickets here.