I am forever grateful to Mrs. Campbell, my grade three teacher. My family had moved from the city to the suburbs, so I had just changed schools, and she noticed her new student’s reading skills were not what they should have been. She worked with me one-on-one and within a month or so, I was reading at my grade level. By the end of that year, I was an avid reader, consuming Nancy Drew novels so quickly that my parents could not keep up with my demands.
And with a love for reading came the love for books. And libraries. In my final year of elementary school, I helped to re-shelf books at our school library during lunch hours. I felt like a mini-librarian.
That June, so long ago, Mrs. Chisholm gifted me with “A Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It quickly became my favourite book, and I still cherish both the story and this particular copy.
I appreciate how technology has made reading more accessible to many. EBooks allow readers to increase font size and to brighten the page. We can stash hundreds of books in our purses, and for those of us with smaller homes, we can collect as many books as we wish without fear of tripping over our beloveds.
Still, there is something so special, so perfect, about the printed page. How it yellows, how the pages age, the feel and flexibility of a paperback or heft of a hardcover. LONG LIVE BOOKS.
And I am feeling a kind of awe and disbelief that I am here, really here. I have written my first book, and I am working on my next. Come September, my debut mystery will be made available to reviewers. Later this fall, my ARCs will be distributed. In nine months, my book will be published. In nine months, I will be able to walk into a bookstore and see my book on a shelf. Nine months … this does feel like I’m expecting, like I’m in the first trimester. It’s so EXCITING.
What excites me just as much? My book will be in libraries, and perhaps someone will give my book to someone as a gift.
I cannot put into words how this feels!
Thank you, Mrs. Campbell. Thank you, Mrs. Chisholm. Thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you to all who helped me.
Thank you, Books, everywhere.