What did libraries mean to some leading contemporary authors? Read the wonderful reflections published by The New York Times.
Compared to the libraries I usually train in, Medgar Evers is bare, but the prominently displayed books there are written by black authors. There is a small section in the library focused on the work of Langston Hughes. Mama thinks I’ve read every word of the books she assigns. The truth is that I’ve never read any book cover to cover except “Anansi the Spider.” Today, while I spread out on the floor next to the Highlight magazines, I read a book called “Langston Hughes: Poet of His People” cover to cover. For the first time in my life, I am not rushing to turn a page. I reread passages I don’t understand. I reread passages I understand far too well. I check the book out so I can reread it when I get home. Mama asks what I read when I get in the car. “Something that makes me good,” I tell her. “Something that makes me feel good.” — Kiese Laymon, “Heavy: An American Memoir”