Eleanor Brown

Eleanor Brown: For every stage in my life, I can associate a library with it

"My love of reading was absolutely fostered by libraries and librarians."

For every stage in my life I can associate a library with it.

From the time when I was little and my parents would take me every week to go to the library and we would fill up these huge canvas tote bags with library books, as many as I could fit in there, I could check out...

to in college, when I broke my leg and I stayed on campus all day instead of being able to go home and I would curl up in the great books room and that's where I first read "Gone with the Wind" and "Great Expectations," all these wonderful, wonderful books.

My love of reading was absolutely fostered by libraries and librarians.

Certainly the librarians who read aloud when I would go to storytimes and librarians who would hand me books, so there were librarians who handed me Edward Eagar and E. Nesbit and Laura Ingalls Wilder and just made this huge difference in my life, because of the books they gave me.

Donnie Kraft, who was my elementary school librarian, who read "The Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death" out loud to my fifth grade class, by Daniel Pinkwater.  Great book.

My high school librarians, Mrs. Meyers and Mrs. Viola, who lent me books that were "do not circulate" so that I could use them for an ornithology project...on which I got an "A."

I don't think i could chose a favorite librarian because all of them have just been so wonderful to me.

You know it's funny, a lot of people talk about how books are dead and reading is dead and information is free, so we don't need anybody to curate it. And one of the nice things about having "The Weird Sisters" published is that I've gotten so many emails that absolutely belie that.

I get these emails saying, "Reading means so much to me," "Books means so much to me." And I completely agree. I think that what libraries do by being community space to promote literacy, teach people how to manage information.

Information may be free, but knowledge about how to gather that information, what information is credible, is not free.  I really feel like libraries and librarians are vital for that.

I was lucky to be raised by parents who believed that books and reading were the most important thing we could do.

I remember, at one point, my sister, in the sixth grade, had a copy of Judy Blume's "Forever," and the principal at the school took it away from her and called my parents, and my parents came in and said, "It's our decision, what our child's going to read."

And I think that not only is it a family decision, as to what a child is going to read, or what anybody is going to read, but I think that it's a responsibility, and that we need to be involved in what our families are doing, and what they're reading and to be having conversations about it.

What better thing is there than to have a conversation about a book, controversial or not, and that's really how I make decisions.

The library was vital when I was was researching "The Weird Sisters," because there were so many topics I had to research. 

I had to research Shakespeare, I had to research birth order,  I had research communication. I had to research libraries.

And so there were all these things that I needed to know. And I needed people to help me find the resources especially, if they weren't owned by the library, if I needed interlibrary loan and librarians were just hugely valuable in that.

So, I use the library all the time for pleasure and for research.

I'm so thankful for librarians, who help me find information, so I don't embarrass myself in public.

OK, I'm very superstitious about talking about what I'm working on. I'll tell you this much, it's another family story similar to "The Weird Sisters." And this one is a little bit more about love and marriage and divorce. But I like books about people. I think people are fascinating, and so I hope I always write about people who get lost and then find their way again.

The Weird Sisters

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Book Title: 

The Weird Sisters