So this week we are celebrating South African National Library week from 19 March – 25 March 2018 with the theme, Libraries: heart of the Community. The reason for this theme is to reiterate the fact that libraries are really the heartbeat of the community. When was the last time you visited your local library?

This has just reminded me of what I used to love about my visits to the local library back home in Bloemfontein. I used to rush to the library immediately after school in my early high school years because I was really a bit shy, although I had made a few friends – books were still my number one friends. It was a daily escape for me. The firsts few times I went I would read the teenage books, your Sweet Valley High  until I was reluctantly moved from the teenage section down to the adult section of the library which was a foreign world to me. I couldn’t understand why the librarian who was literally moving me without my consent from my “safe space” to what I assumed to be a “jungle of big and bad words”. I went and stayed, the same librarian would always ensure when I arrive I go straight to the adult section by giving me the eye. She encouraged me to get lost in a book sampling session before I would make a decision and lend out books. I would end up being so grateful to this librarian for the encouragement.

I moved from YA genre to adult fiction which took my mind to different countries, different emotions and just an amazing relationship with words. I still love fiction, this year I have committed to reading one non-fiction book for every fiction book or two I read.

So as we go through this week – think back to your first few trips to your local library and what an important contribution it made in your life.

I’m also looking forward to joining the Literary Alliance book club this coming Saturday, 24 March 2018 at the Sandton Library for a book discussion with author Fred Khumalo. We will be discussing Dancing the Death Drill which was the Lit Allies book of the month. I cannot wait as it will be my very first time visiting a library since I moved to Johannesburg in 2012 – can you believe it!?

Happy National Library Week!