Orange Giveaway #5: Abide with Me

Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout


Up for Grabs: Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout

Orange Connection: Not a winner or nominee, but Elizabeth Strout’s Amy and Isabelle was on the 2000 Short List.

Who’s Eligible to Win?: Anyone participating in Orange January – no matter where you live or if you’ve won a giveaway already this month. You’re also welcome to participate in the activity, even if you don’t want the book. Just let me know in the comments below to not enter your name into the drawing.

Your Activity: Do you remember your first library card? How old were you? What types of books did you check out? Tell us in the comments below!

Giveaway closes at 9pm Eastern tonight. I look forward to reading about everyone’s early library experiences!


34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Judy Lim
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 19:35:21

    I don’t remember if I had a card or not, but I remember the two little old ladies who drove a van with boxes of books between all the country schools in our area. I was about 7 or so when they first came to my school. I have no idea what books I borrowed. I just know that their visits were the highlights of the school year and they never came often enough!


  2. darklecat
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 19:38:40

    Well, can’t remember that far back in detail! I remember having four cardboard ‘tickets’ – they were square ‘pockets’ that you would surrender to the librarian when taking a book out, and they would put the slip from the book inside, and file it by date. I seem to remember going to the main town library once a fortnight, and the mobile library on the week in between. Loved that slight rocking sensation you got when stepping aboard, although there wasn’t a huge children’s section in it (it wasn’t a terribly big van thinking back on it – they are probably bigger these days). Sadly really can’t remember what my first books were, do remember my dad later encouraging me to read the Swallows & Amazons series, and Biggles!


  3. Julie
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 19:51:41

    Oh – I can remember this like yesterday! My first library card was one I acquired when I was around 10 years old. I cycled to the library in Rickmansworth which was about four or five miles away from our home. The whole expedition was such an adventure for me because when I arrived at the library I could browse, explore and visit more different worlds without having to travel any further! Quite often I would borrow memoirs, biographies of people who interested me in addition to fiction. My parents had a vast library so my bike trips to the library were a real opportunity for me to branch out and develop my individual style!


  4. Aoife Kavanagh
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 20:02:39

    My first library card was for the fantastic children’s library in Dun Laoghaire (Dublin, Ireland). Every Saturday morning my parents took us there where I could easily spend an hour browsing looking for books. I can’t remember the earliest books I got from there but I think I was working my way through the Nancy Drew mysteries by the age of 7 followed by the Black Stallion series and then on to Agatha Christie. I stopped using the library for many years but discovered Pat Barker when I started using it again in 2000 when living in Sydney. Libraries are great and deserve the support of any avid book reader to keep them open!


  5. Deborah in Canada
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 20:07:42

    My first library card? Difficult to say. My mom took me and my sisters to the library before we started school and took out books for us. Then when I started grade 1 – I could take books out of the library , which I did. Even back then I was a dutiful child and would chose books that had won The Newbury Medal or the Caldecot tMedal – if I’ve got that those awards spelled correctly . My favourite books as child were those by Enid Blyton, Joan Aiken and Madeleine L’Engle ‘s A Wrinkle in Time. I loved a lot of books and authors.

    As for when I got my first public library card on my own, probably not until I was in Grade 5 – 6 -7, when I was old enough to ride my bike to the public library. I was very lucky to have many books in my family home too.


  6. Jayme@Beachreader
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 20:27:32

    I don’t remember my library card, but I do remember going to the library every Saturday to pick out our books. And in the summertime the book mobile would be at our corner every Wednesday and my 5 brothers and me ran the driver wild, but she was a good sport and would always be on the look-out for books for us.


  7. Peggy
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 21:19:24

    I think I was born clutching a library card in my fat little fist. I pretty much know that as soon as I was old enough to walk to school by myself, I was also old enough to walk to the library by myself. Think of hot, humid, summer afternoons and little Peggy climbing the enclosed steps of the old firehouse to the top floor where she sat steaming and sweaty waiting for Mrs. Williamson and Mrs. Tuton to come back from lunch.and LET HER IN. Then the freedom of the stacks!
    Thanks for a great question, Jill.


  8. Helen
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 21:29:06

    I think I was probably about five or six. We used to have the carboard ‘tickets’ too then. We were allowed five of them – three green ones for non-fiction and two yellow ones for fiction. My mother used to take us to the Claremont Municipal Library once a fortnight until I was old enough to ride my bike there on my own. The library was underneath the Council Chambers and I loved the visits. I usually had trouble choosing which books to take and which to leave behind. I’d read just about anything and would sit on the floor there reading until my mother just about had to drag me out!


  9. rl (@rhondareads)
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 21:36:49

    My dad took me to get my card ,i think i was around 6 .Fairytales were my favorites.He took me once a week still one of my favorite memories,


  10. nomadreader
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 22:11:19

    The first one I remember having on my own was when we moved to a new city between kindergarten and first grade. I was able to write my name on the back, and it seemed like such a big deal to have my own card rather than using my moms. Then, just as now, I had a tendency to take home way more books than I actually read. Also, then, just as now, I overestimated my interest in nonfiction. I *want* to learn more about things, but I rarely sit down to actually read it.


  11. Georgia
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 22:14:17

    I don’t remember having a library card, but I do remember going to the library each week with my Grandma. I remember being so excited when I had chosen my books and then going up to the counter to get the books stamped. The library is still there, which is a miracle in this day and age, and I still visit it now 30 years on. The books I first remember reading were the Nancy Drew series.


  12. Jenny
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 00:06:58

    My Mom used to sell books to some of our local libraries, and I remember getting my own card at age 11, which I think was their minimum, at a branch we didn’t often go to. It shared the building with city hall. I was at that awkward age of having read everything in the kids section, and I remember checking out a book on handwriting analysis.


  13. Pamela Brown
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 00:16:44

    I can’t remember NOT having a library card, so I expect that I got one as soon as the library rules allowed – 8? 10? Before that, I checked out books using my mother’s card. Earliest books that I can remember: Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames – Student Nurse, The Five Little Peppers and other series whose names escape me now. The books were almost always fiction – then and now. I appreciate the comment above from nomadreader – I check out non-fiction because I want to learn about new things, but the stories always lure me away. I return most of the NF books only partially read. I just know that going to the library has always been one of my favorite things. Although the checkout method has gone from hand-date-stamped cards in pockets in the front of books to computer self-checkout, the pleasure of the library remains the same.


  14. Pragya
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 00:27:46

    My first library card would have been in school. I don’t remember when they started giving us those. Must be in the 5th standard (9 years old), I guess. After that there were college library cards. Not until college did I have a library card other than the institution I was studying in.

    In school, I read Sweet Valley High series mostly or Enid Blyton or a Nancy Drew. I was so open to books even then that I read whatever book I liked, there was nothing particular I read. Even then I was done with my book in a day, later exchanging with my sister and friends, because another book, a week later, seemed so far away. 😀



  15. Wendy
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 00:31:39

    I think I had a library card at age 4…but I really remember having one at 5 years old. We lived in a small town in New Hampshire and our library was one of those classic, beautiful old libraries with wide pine floors and windows that started a foot above the floor and rose almost to the ceiling. My mother took us every week to the library and we took out many books. My dad read us a bedtime story every night. It was really idyllic. The books I remember the most taking out were when I was a little older…I borrowed ALL The Borrower books (the whole series) multiple times. I remember the librarian once asking me if I didn’t want to read some different books since I had taken these out so many times!!!


  16. Nulaanne
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 01:09:06

    My first library card was when I was about 7. I think that is whe the city allowed kids to have one. Mom thought it would teach responsability. She was right, she was responsable for driving me there every week. At seven the books I checked out were the ones the school library would not let me take out. The school thought at seven I was to young to read Nancy Drew.


  17. Amy
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 01:24:10

    My mother helped me get my first library card at age 9. Prior to then my mom took books out for me on her card since our library didn’t limit the number of books you could take out. I read a lot even at that age. Two books I took out myself, although I’m not sure if they were the first books I checked out, were Charlotte’s Web and Peter Pan. I also took out some Beatrix Potter books, Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twin books. There was a series of children’s biographical history books I liked, too. I remeber reading about George and Martha Washington, Betsy Ross, and Abraham Lincoln.


  18. rainpebble/belva
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 01:53:28

    I got my first library card when I was 7 years old. I read The Black Fawn, Little Gray Men and like Amy, I read through all of the Nancy Drews & the Bobbsey Twin books along with the Trixie Beldon and Cherry Ames series. As I got older I began to read the classics. I remember that Nathaniel Hawthorne was a great favorite of mine.


  19. Martine Frampton
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 01:57:28

    I remember us visiting the library with my mum from the age of seven or eight, but cannot recall what I borrowed. I mainly read Enid Blyton at that age, that’s pretty much all there was then. It’s great that so many people write for young children these days. I do, like someone else above, remember the little cardboard cards and the slip inside each book that was taken out when you borrowed the book and filed away in these long narrow wooden drawers. I did some work experience in the library when I was 15 and loved it.


  20. Brenda
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 02:16:47

    Hard to say what age exactly. I would guess 7 or 8. We lived in a small town with a teeny library, the children’s books in the back room. I think I read every Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, Bobbsey Twins they had. I was also, and still am, fascinated by biographies, so I read about the presidents, social activists, artists, etc.


  21. Linda Snyder Koons
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 03:21:46

    I was probably about 10 or 11 when I got my first library card, because that’s when I started attending the central school in town, where there was also a public library. Before that I attended a one-room country school with just a few “extra” reading books, and did most of my reading at home. I was very fond of a series of biographies featuring leaders, poets, and so on–probably the same ones Brenda mentioned. I remember reading about Robert E. Lee, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Mary McLeod Bethune. And very soon, I discovered the Lockridges…Richard and Frances, who wrote delightful mysteries, many
    with cats in them. I still collect their books to this day.


  22. Kim Hannibal Collins
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 04:18:31

    I got my first library card probably around 3rd grade. The library and the pool in town were the only places that I was allowed to go to by myself — walking or riding my bike. I went very often — at least once a week all through grade school (1-8). Books I loved included these series: Bobbsy Twins, Stuart Little, Nancy Drew and so many more.


  23. Kim Hannibal Collins
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 04:21:28

    okay, I left my post before reading all the other posts. Oh my gosh, I forgot so many other series and books. Thanks for a fun and nostalgic question!


  24. Debra
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 06:02:30

    I can’t say I remember my first library card I just know I always had one. We moved quite a bit when I was growing up and one of the first things I always asked after we were moved in was “Where is the library?”. I have a memory of going to the library to search for Beverly Cleary’s books, The Hardy Boys series, the Pippi Longstocking books among many others.


  25. Phoebe
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 07:44:01

    I think I must have been 5 or so. I enjoyed going to story time at the library, which had the kids section downstairs. I remember taking out the Bobbsey twins and Nancy Drew. So I loved mysteries early on.


  26. Tania
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 08:09:31

    I must have visited a library when I was small (Mum tells the story of my sister and I taking out a picture book called “Go Away Dog!” so many times that she eventually bought it, and it’s still on her shelves), but I only really remember it when we moved to Sydney. We’d visit as a family once a fortnight (never often enough! – I remember asking repeatedly if we could go to the library…?) after school/work, and my sister and I would always borrow the Asterix and Obelix books and Tintin books (Mum didn’t approve of comic books, and limited us to one each per visit), and we discovered Edward Eager through the library too.


  27. Patricia
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 08:11:54

    I was maybe 3 and Harry The Dirty Dog was the be all and end all of literature as far as I was concerned — now I read it to my own little ones.


  28. Kim Bal-Al
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 08:14:45

    My first memory of borrowing in my own right was the primary school library and library day always seemed like Christmas. We lived in a new area in Canberra, and I remember paddocks being where the new Belconnen library is built. I spent quite a bit of time there as I got older. My Grandparents lived in a slightly older area of Canberra and my Granddad was a voracious reader, he and I would go to his local library together, before I was 5, borrowing large towers of books each week. I have a vague recollection of story-time with the librarians there. I still can’t remember how we used to borrow books before the cards came out. I seem to remember them date stamping a sheet and taking out a green card from the inside cover of the book, I think adults were the only ones who had library cards with our public library system. My 17 year old son, still borrows off my adult library card, and he has only applied for his own card this year, because the year 11 & 12 colleges are attached to the public libraries.


  29. Bonnie
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 08:15:52

    My first library card was obtained at the public library in downtown Chicago. I don’t remember the books I checked out as much as I remember the excitement of entering the doorway of this big beautiful piece of architecture and being surrounded by all different types of books. And still today I get that same feeling when I walk into any room or building housing all that knowledge and all those stories!


  30. Kim Bal-Al
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 08:26:33

    As for books, I have a strong recollection of some of the horse books I read. Misty of Chincoteague & Stormy, Misty’s foal, by Marguerite Henry- my Aunty and I named two horses after them. Also, the Follyfoot series by Monica Dickens. When I was young and people talked about the author Dickens, I thought they were talking about her, very confusing!
    Colin Thiele, is a prolific Australian author and I read many of his.
    And last but not least I borrowed The Lord of The Rings series from my primary school library and was blown away by it, having never heard of Tolkien, it was amazing, I just picked it off the shelf.


  31. Sally from Oz
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 08:35:50

    My first card in my own name was when I was about 8 in England. My dad took me to a library and all I can remember was that it was very dark and had wooden floors and my shoes made a clunking noise no matter how hard I tried to walk quietly. I borrowed a Millly Molly Mandy book and Heidi. The lady tried to talk me out of them as they were ‘too old’ for me. Dad told her I could borrow whatever I wanted and she was not to stifle my choices. She date stamped them very loudly!


  32. mrstreme
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 10:05:23

    Congratulations to Jenny from Reading Envy for winning today’s giveaway!


  33. Trackback: Books, reading, & libraries – a Sunday morning muse | dark-side-of-the-catalogue

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