I used to haunt the Fraser-Hickson Library on Kensington Avenue in Montreal when I was growing up. Every Saturday afternoon, Judy and I would meet and - as long as the weather cooperated - walk to the library. It was an imposing structure, at least in the eyes of a couple of tweens; a two story building with a stone facade and large plate-glass windows that illuminated the interior. One part of the library was devoted to children’s books. Judy and I, of course, were beyond that. We went to the grown-up wing - a cornucopia of non-fiction, reference, and fiction collections.
Judy and I loved to wander between the rows upon rows of shelves that overflowed with tempting titles: Tropic of Cancer, Sons and Lovers, The Carpetbaggers. These were beyond our reach, both literally and figuratively. They were on the high shelves and, in any case, we couldn’t borrow them on our children’s membership cards. You had to be at least sixteen to borrow books that were marked with red dots on their spines!
It didn’t matter, though. There was still so much that we could sample. After an hour of drinking in all our choices, we’d each find a couple of prospects. Newly borrowed books in hand, we would cross Somerled Avenue and proceed to the next phase of our Saturday ritual - chocolate ice cream sundaes at the Somerled Soda Shoppe. Our appetites for sweets assuaged, Judy and I would head back to her house, curl up and gorge on our brain candy.
Brain candy! When I was young, I scarfed down stories about Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, and Judy Bolton Girl Detective. Later I graduated to Agatha Christie and Charles Dickens. Today, I inhale mysteries by Sue Grafton, and immerse myself in epic novels sculpted by Herman Wouk, James Clavell and James Michener. My choice of brain candy has evolved over the years, but my love of reading - and of chocolate ice cream sundaes - remains unchanged.
©2013 Phyllis Entis. All rights reserved.