The books that visited me from the public library were mostly ephemeral events in my life; they came, were devoured, were discarded and were ultimately forgotten. Their effects, however, still linger. The hours spent with them — propped open while I ate breakfast, brushed my teeth, walked down the school hallway (I could still see where I was going!), and sprawled on the couch — constantly strengthened my love of reading, not to mention my ability to read. It’s because of those all-too-easily forgotten library books that my apartment is now vanishing beneath the contents of Strand and Barnes & Noble bags. Rarely am I sufficiently grateful for the gifts that the library bestowed on me as a kid, or properly aware of how different my childhood would have been without such a stately, well-stocked public library 10 minutes from home.