Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Back to the Library

Kathryn Page Camp
Before you can be a great writer, you have to be a great reader. But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few quotes from some writers who are better known than I am.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Stephen King

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Stephen King

“If you read good books, good books will come out of you.” Natalie Goldberg

“Reading usually precedes writing and the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading. Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer.” Susan Sontag

When I was a child, I practically lived at the library. Or I wanted to, anyway. Unfortunately, the nearest public library was 60 miles away. But we went every two weeks and I checked out the six-book limit. Then I supplemented that with books from the school library.

When my children were young, we went to the local library once or twice a week. Caroline and John participated in the summer programs, and Caroline was a junior helper for two or three years.

Then my wallet got a little fatter, and I decided it was simpler to buy the books that interested me. That way, I could keep them as long as I wanted and mark them up without worry. And eventually I stopped using the library as a source of reading material.

But I’ve always loved the library, and I would have considered it sacrilege to give up my card. So when the library called and told me they were about to cancel it for lack of use, they got my attention.

Since then, I’ve rediscovered the library and made an important discovery. If I read a book and decide it belongs in my own library, I can still buy it. But if two weeks are all I need, I’ve saved myself some money.

Maybe it’s time for you to rediscover the library, too.


Kathryn Page Camp is a licensed attorney and full-time writer. Writers in Wonderland: Keeping Your Words Legal was a Kirkus’ Indie Books of the Month Selection for April 2014. The second edition of Kathryn’s first book, In God We Trust: How the Supreme Court’s First Amendment Decisions Affect Organized Religion, was released on September 30, 2015. You can learn more about Kathryn at

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