What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Home from Home - by Sven Pertelson

A fresh autumn breeze blows dancing leaves around my feet as I reach for the door handle of my local library. I am greeted with a cheery wave from Joan, one of the librarians, sorting tickets at the main desk. They all know me here. This is my home from home.

The library is where I come to relax. When family gets too much and I need some quiet time. When friends are busy at weekends, either chasing a ball round some sports field or even more bizarre watching other people chase a ball. On cold winter evenings when I can join an Adult Education Class on Local History or Archaeology or even Art Appreciation, but never on Making a Quilted Cushion or Car Maintenance. This library has been a hub round which my life revolves for as long as I can remember.

I could read before I went to school. While others were playing in the sand tray in reception class and looking at picture books I was reading my way through the limited number of books in the school library. I had finished them all by the end of the first term. I told the teacher that I had and she did not believe me. She pulled a book at random from the shelves and asked me what the story was about, as I told her I could see her jaw drop. I pulled my public library ticket from my pocket and asked if it would be alright for me to bring some books in from there to read.

By the age of seven I had read all the books I found interesting in the Junior section of the public library, I was getting a little discerning by then. I found that some authors wrote to a formula, read one Famous Five book and you had read them all. Only the locations and the villains names changed, so why bother?. There were books that were aimed at boys and others at girls but to me it did not matter as long as they fired my imagination and challenged my comprehension. That raised a few eyebrows at home and from the librarians too. My problem was that I was running out of things to read and the rules were that I could not get access to the Adult section until I was eleven. My older brothers would sometimes lend me one of their library books but it was not the same as choosing my own after a pleasurable hour of browsing the shelves. I pestered my parents, my teachers and the librarians and eventually they signed a letter I had written to the local council. At the age of seven and a quarter I was presented with my own Adult Section ticket, subject to the one proviso that my choices must be approved by the librarian on the desk, I entered book paradise.

Reassuringly the fiction books were all arranged alphabetically as in the Junior section, that would change much later with books arranged, often seemingly arbitrarily, by genre as well. The big difference was with the non-fiction. What were all these numbers on the books? Welcome to the world of the Dewey Decimal Classification. It took me a short while, but I eventually grasped it and even started sorting my own books in the same way. I must admit I think that the folks that develop new entries for Dewey system have a wicked sense of humour. Before they assigned the 000 Class to Computing what few books that mentioned it used to be sandwiched between those on Logical Deduction and those on Errors and Fallacies.

It has been so many years since I first came to this library that even the youngest librarians who knew me then have retired and others have passed on, like many of the books that I have loved here. I pause at the shelf where they are selling off old books, I always look here first. My own shelves at home are groaning with books I have rescued from pulping so I have to be selective.

A leaf blown in from outside lands on one of the books for sale. An old favourite I have not seen for years, it must have been on the reserve stacks. That one I must have. Thank you leaf! I could have missed that one. As a reward you have found a new job, as a bookmark.

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