Downtown library offers books of many flavors, starting with A

By Ann DeFrange Published: August 18, 2004
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The Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library is open for business. The big, beautiful building is full of books.

I know. I helped move them there.

I found a place in line last week in the street at Park and Robinson, right between the Busick family on one side, the Muse family on the other. About 3,000 people helped pass about 5,000 books, hand over hand, from the old site to the new. We waited for people a few blocks to the north to pass along books so we could pass them along to the people a few blocks to the south. Eventually, if people would stop holding them and trying to read them as they passed by, they would make it to the new library.

The old library was one of the places I grew up, the place I matured as a reader. Graduating from the children's section to the adult section was a high point in my adolescence. During one visit, I stood in the rows of books and nearly cried because I feared I would never live long enough to read all those books.

It was the same gluttonous attitude I had when I regretted that I would never be able to taste all the flavors of ice cream in the Baskin-Robbins display case. So I started at the beginning with both. I ate vanilla ice cream and I read most of the A section in the library. I've made a lot of progress since then.

Therefore, it was reassuring when the first authors that passed by at Park and Robinson were in alphabetical order -- Isabel Allende and Jean Auel, two writers I have enjoyed and admired.

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