Loving Our Libraries

vintage-libraryYou may not know it, but this week is National Library Week. And here at the Bluestocking Salon, we think that’s worth celebrating.

Which probably leads you to ask: What business does a bookseller have singing the praises of public libraries? Libraries hand out books for free; Bas Bleu…does not. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?

Heck, no!

Because we’d be willing to bet good money that most of you bluestockings cut your literary teeth at a public library. We certainly did. Even if we were lucky enough to have books at home when we were kids, the library is where we went when our parents were sick of reading the same bedtime stories over and over again. It’s where we shopped for books when we were old enough to choose our own adventures but too allowance-poor to buy them. The library is where we first realized the staggering scope of the book world, first sniffed the centuries and universes and secret lives awaiting discovery within those Dewey-decimaled tomes.

As our literary appetites became voracious, the librarians who worked within those hallowed stacks served as mystical guides, steering us from one book to the next with an “If you liked this, you’ll love this.” Before Google, those same librarians served as human search engines for science projects, book reports, and term papers. They proved to us that we didn’t need money or a passport or a time machine to explore the world; we only needed books and a quiet corner in which to read them. The library had both in spades.

At Bas Bleu, we love our customers. You’re the reason we do what we do, and we appreciate each and every order you place with us. We’ve been selling books for more than twenty years, and we hope to sell them for at least twenty more. But we wouldn’t be the readers we are today without libraries, and for that we will be eternally grateful.

20 thoughts on “Loving Our Libraries

  1. As a child, I always dreamed of working in a library. I would play for hours with my collection of books, pretending to process them for lending to make-believe patrons. Fortunately, many years later, I have realized that dream and work at our county library. I feel blessed for that. However, even with a vast selection of books surrounding me every day, I still look to Bas Bleu for books that don’t always cross my path in my facility. I find books that catch my interest in each catalog as well as gifts for my family and friends. Thank you for all the great products!

  2. My coworkers think I’m a little batty…no matter where I travel to, I always look for the library. I just feel so ‘at home’ in them. It’s interesting to see how they differ, but are so much the same. Hooray for libraries!!

  3. This came to me over the weekend….my love of libraries is the reason I bought the card catalog notes from Bas Bleu. But I’m stingy…it’s not just anyone who will receive a note on one. And I try to match the book title with the person. Any chance you’ll offer extra notes, since I already have the box?

    • Our apologies for the delayed response to your query, Cathy. Unfortunately, our supplier currently doesn’t offer “refills” for the Card Catalog Note Cards. We’ll pass along the suggestion, of course, and let you know if extra cards become available for purchase. We’ve never met you, but you sound like a pretty thoughtful correspondent to be matching up the book titles with the recipients!

  4. Were it not for public libraries, many of the books in my Favorites case would never have crossed my path – and since libraries frown upon you keeping their copies of the books you fall in love with, one must therefore go to booksellers.

  5. As a child in 1st and 2nd grade I used to play library at home. I would take my parents books and cut up construction paper in squares and tape them to the inside back cover. Then have another piece to slip in w/the due date.(They never got upset!) The catalog note cards were a wonderful reminder. I lived through Jo March. Had a little corner in our attic where I would write with a shawl around me. I have spent many, many hrs. in the Alcott house in Concord because I grew up in Lexinton, Mass.

  6. Even in the age of Google, librarians are still the best “search engines” for assistance in finding just the information you need! They are the best guides to the vast world of information out there and today’s students — and us — still need them to help us find our way. Librarians help us find those “keep forever” books that we get from our friendly and helpful booksellers.

  7. Because of Covid, of course our local library was closed to patrons for months, but still provided curbside service (for which I was very grateful). They have recently reopened with some restrictions and it was so wonderful to actually go INSIDE to pick up the book I had reserved. There is something about the smell of books, the quiet that surrounds me when I go in, and the wonder of all those books just waiting for me. Librarians are superheroes! And thanks to Bas Bleu for giving me so many good ideas on what to read. Even if I had the time, I haven’t got the space I need for all the books I want. If it’s books, it’s not hoarding.

    • Libraries have been so creative over the past year, coming up with ways to continue serving their patrons. We’re glad to hear yours is letting you inside again! It’s such a haven for readers.

  8. I am rereading my 50 year old copies of Helene Hanff’s books. Still a joy. She proved what could be done by using the library. At 82 I am not suppose to be buying books but finding new homes for them as we downsize to someplace with very little space for books. We shall see. Looking into storage units. Could make a run to storage, gather some books, enjoy, and return them. Such is life.

  9. I agree LIBRARIES ARE WONDERFUL !!! My son, Ronnie, could READ at age 3 so OFF I TOOK HIM TO THE LIBRARY—to get a CARD !! The Librarian was TERRIFIC and DID NOT SEE THIS AS A MOTHER’ STUNT—-Ronnie could not write so I did “PROXY”and he received his LIBRARY CARD !!! Well he will be 60 in May he is a Los ANGELES DISTRICT ATTORNEY and has his OWN LIBRARY. Yes I will give him a BOOK for his birthday !!!

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