For the Love of Books, 1948

Have you missed libraries during the pandemic?  I certainly have.  Through the wonders of the internet, I’ve been well supplied with reading materials.  But for me nothing compares with the adventure of wandering through the stacks, discovering treasures by accident. 

The Digital Public Library of America, one of my favorite sources for images, now has a wonderful online exhibit on the history of libraries in the United States.  In one section on bookmobiles, it shows this photo of a woman in Georgia with an invalid husband receiving a pile of books. I can only imagine her joy.  I’ll bet she got as many titles as were allowed.

It’s also an interesting study in women’s dress.  The older woman wears what is probably her standard at home outfit, a plain colored shirtwaist dress, a cardigan, and sensible shoes.  With her white hair drawn behind her head and her wire rimmed glasses, she looks like the stereotypical image of a grandmother in that era.  By contrast, her younger visitor is having a little more fun with her clothes. She has on a bold patterned fuller skirt, a wide shouldered jacket, and flat loafers.  Her box coat might have been a few years old, but her skirt and shoes already give a whiff of 1950s styles.

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4 Responses to For the Love of Books, 1948

  1. Bell Neice says:

    This reminds me of my favorite Selected Short (I heard it read as a short story, but apparently it is graphic novel) The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger. It reminds me of the lovely Carnegie library in my town, and their struggle to remain relevant, prior to and during the pandemic. And it reminds me of how much I loved the library when I was in school (even in college); for reading, for studying, for research in the days prior to the internet, and for wandering around the stacks looking for something interesting.

  2. eimearg says:

    seeing the mobile library really brings it back, such a great resource – I have a great affection for the egalatarian nature of libraries. We used have a mobile library that visited our village, and while my family all got their own books, my friends mother used ask us to pick up some books for her (we would have been about 10) – and my friend explained to me ‘just look for anything with a man and a woman on the front – they are the ones she likes’ – lord only knows what she used end up with (and most possibly repeats!)

  3. Nann says:

    Thanks for the link to the LOC exhibit, Lynn!
    Our library lobby is open with some books on display for browsing — but I miss going into the stacks.

  4. Lizzie says:

    Bookmobile day was a big event in my small mountain community.

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