Dear kind reader,
I’m think I just received my first official piece of fan mail.
This morning I received an email from a gentleman in Norway who read my debut The Snow Child, which was released there last month. He is a retired school teacher and an author himself. He borrowed the Norwegian translation of Snøbarnet from his neighborhood library.
It probably goes without saying that this is incredibly thrilling. To have a complete stranger, from another country, take the time to write to me and share his feelings about my book!
What added to my delight, however, was the fact that he had checked it out from a local library. From a purely pragmatic viewpoint, library loans don’t earn money or boost placement on the bestseller list. However, as a reader and a book lover, the thought of my novel passing across a library check-out counter is incredible.
As I read his email, I thought of all the books I’ve discovered at our local libraries. When I was a little girl, the Palmer Public Library was in a cramped corner of City Hall. The library didn’t fine you if you turned in a book late, but there was a jar on the counter where you could, if compelled by guilt, donate some spare change. On afternoons, the librarian would sit on a chair and school children would gather around to hear her read a storybook.
Over the years at various public and school libraries I have found unexpected treasures, books I had never heard of but have stayed with me forever. My own daughters love stopping at the Sutton Public Library to check out books and visit with librarian Nancy Bertels. It is a warm, welcoming place.
And it fills me with joy to know that my novel has found such a home, on a shelf in a neighborhood library where, maybe, someone will stumble upon it and decide to take it home for a time.