On Saturday we drove through the small Catskills town of Stoneridge, New York, and were reminded that that’s where the Libraries We Love project began. It was a spring day in 2005, and we were going to the little country house my father-in-law, Eli Levinson, has owned since the late 1960s to do some cleaning up before he arrived. As we drove through Stoneridge–a town filled with lovely old stone houses, its Main Street lined with stone building–David commented on what beautiful libraries there are, scattered across America. We started naming those we knew of: a tiny neighborhood library in Belmont, Massachusetts, a stunning shingled library in Connecticut.
“We should do a book about them,” David said. And that’s where it all began, leading not only to the book that’s coming out this autumn, but to the lively U.K.-based Good Library Blog and soon to launch Good Library Guide. We’re planning a libraries calendar, too.
BTW, the cleaning up at Eli’s house went well. We met the garter snake that lives under the front door and seemed just as curious about us as we were about it. Rachel and Tom cut branches, cleared brush, and tried out their new slings (a Roman weapon, I’m told), while David repainted window frames and shutters. We had a beautiful morning there, before David’s sister and family turned up, and on the way home, by a different route, discovered a small shop near Amenia selling pheasants and pheasant eggs and homemade mozzarella. No duck eggs this time of year, but I plan to go back for them.