Two by two, we would line up together — boys on one side, and girls on the other. We wore our pressed uniforms of pants or appropriate-length plaid skirts and walked with our hands folded together behind our backs. I felt like Madeline when I would end up towards the back of the line next to my best friend. We would chat about everything on our way to one of our most favorite places.
The school’s library was of a modest display with books lining the edge of a medium-sized room. There were books for kids and preteens and an off-limit spinnable carousel of books for teens and young adults. From second grade up until we graduated from the Catholic school in the eighth grade, I would march along with my class with our hands behind our backs each week to check out books. I read every Babysitters’ Club book and even all of the mystery and sister series that way. In fact, nearly every book in the small library had been read by me during our several minutes of silent reading time when we returned to the classroom.
After checking out our books from the library, my best friend and I would immediately start reading our books. We were often yelled at for reading while crossing the street, and would always reference that our favorite Disney princess, Belle, often did the same thing.
Reading was an escape to another adventure different from our own. We could travel beyond the words printed on the page and climb to new heights previously unknown. A multiverse of possibilities awaited us in the library, and I looked forward to going with my class or to the local library with my mom during the summer. I expanded my own world and immersed myself in a vast wealth of knowledge. I could still lose myself within the bridges of stories stacked side by side in any library, and I wouldn’t mind remaining lost.