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HUNT COLUMN: Book a trip to the library

By Cathy Hunt
Troup County Board Chair

A year ago libraries were closed. This summer they’re back in business and programs for young people are as abundant as ever.

Library books were always present in my home growing up. I distinctly remember signing up for the summer reading challenges, keeping lists of everything I read, and receiving my mission accomplished certificates.

My favorite reads as an elementary student included the Little House on the Prairie series and every Nancy Drew mystery I could get my hands on.

The library gave me the opportunity to read great books before they were assigned in school. Memories include being out of school with the flu, lying in bed in our first house and reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” as a seventh grader. In a different house as a ninth grader, I remember lying in bed at night past my bedtime to finish Rebecca. In tenth grade, I recall sitting in the family room alone reading The Crucible, and throwing it across the room in despair when I finished it.

Those particularly memorable books were shades of things to come. To this day, I gravitate toward legal and social justice novels, atmospheric mysteries, historical fiction and plays. While my girls were growing up, they of course checked out books from the school library, but while on summer break I took them to the library regularly, where they participated first in children’s story time and then in programs for older children as well as in the reading challenges.

We would often include friends whose parents had jobs that didn’t allow them to stay home (and take trips to the library) as I was fortunate to be able to do during school vacations. It was our routine to stop by the convenience store and get Icees for all on the way home — a fine outing for a summer day.

Nowadays I always have a library book going, as well as a book I own (yes, I buy a lot of books), and also a book on Kindle. I never used to read multiple books at once, but now that I’m retired I adore juggling them. Participating in Goodreads online is also fun. You can keep track of what you’ve read and what you want to read, rate books and see how others rated them, and challenge yourself to read a certain number of books in a year. Check it out (pun intended).

For the kids, go to thrl.org (Troup Harris Regional Library) to see the fun activities they’re now offering. This site includes news for the LaGrange Memorial, Hogansville and Harris County libraries . You can learn about West Point’s fine Hawkes Library on its Facebook page.  (Note: LaGrange Memorial is currently housed at Unity School while their regular digs are being renovated. Park on Wilkes Street and use the side entrance.)