While I’ve never lived in Los Angeles, my Uncle Charlie did. When I was growing up he sent my family a canary who sang all day and for good measure laid a beautiful blue egg. The egg never hatched. But still. To me it felt like magic. Like something that could happen only in a fairy tale. From then on I thought of LA as a magical place.
Back then I didn’t know about the Los Angeles Public Library. And it wasn’t until last summer when I was a guest speaker that I learned first-hand about the Library Foundation’s ALOUD series. Talk about magic. That evening was magical for me. What a program – with more than fifty free talks a year!
Ask any writer and you’ll undoubtedly hear about the libraries in their lives. For me, it was the public library in Elizabeth, New Jersey. My mother took me every week. You had to climb up a rickety wooden staircase outside the building to get to the Children’s Room. As a 4 year old the climb felt like it would never end. But it was so worth it. I didn’t know how to read then but I fell in love with books as I sat on the floor, pulling them off the shelves, sniffing them, losing myself in the illustrations, imagining my own stories. When I did learn to read it only got better.
Ask any reader and you will hear that books not only change lives, but sometimes save them. That’s exactly what the right book at the right time can do. So on March 6, 2016 I hope you’ll join me at the Stay Home and Read a Book Ball. It’s a book lover’s dream. No dressing up, no one in your face, no mystery food. Just you and that book you’ve been longing to read.
Please give generously to keep the Los Angeles Public Library strong.
Judy Blume is the award-winning and best-selling author of such beloved books as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Tiger Eyes, and most recently, In the Unlikely Event. She was also the editor of Places I Never Meant to Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers.