Best Child­hood MeM­ory

Business Bhutan - - Editoria - KEZANG CHODEN The writer is a for­mer RTC top­per

There was this li­brar­ian in my ju­nior school. He’s eas­ily the best li­brar­ian I have met. From what I re­mem­ber, he en­joyed be­ing a li­brar­ian to more than a thou­sand kids. He’d go around and talk to us, ask us about what we were read­ing, make us iden­tify char­ac­ters on the book cov­ers. He loved hav­ing us around. The room was al­ways clean, or­ga­nized and cozy. I loved vol­un­teer­ing at the li­brary. I’d write pock­ets for new books, and help mop the floor on Satur­days. Maybe it was be­cause the read­ing cul­ture wasn’t so great then; any kid who vis­ited the li­brary as fre­quently as I did be­came his fa­vorite. He even made the school award me a cer­tifi­cate for read­ing the max­i­mum num­ber of books. I can’t tell you how much that one piece of yel­low pa­per has helped me get se­lected for things. “Kezang,” he’d say and point to­wards a shelf. “I’m saving a spot there for your book.” I was only thir­teen. To have some­one be­lieve in me the way he did when I had only started to ex­per­i­ment with writ­ing sto­ries, it was the nicest thing any­one had told me. I was read­ing the Harry Pot­ter se­ries and had fallen in love, but un­for­tu­nately the li­brary had only the first four books. Af­ter the Gob­let of Fire, I was dy­ing to read the next book. He un­der­stood how I felt and lent me a per­sonal copy of the fi­nal book. I was skip­ping two books if I di­rectly read that but I took what I got. Then I grad­u­ated. I was go­ing to a dif­fer­ent school in a few months, so I was vol­un­teer­ing at the li­brary un­til De­cem­ber 17. The li­brary got new ar­rivals and the fifth book in the HP se­ries was in it. I was so happy! But un­for­tu­nately I wasn’t able to check it out any­more. So ev­ery day I’d go to the cor­ner, take “Harry Pot­ter and the Half-blood Prince” off the shelf, hug it and whis­per, “I love you sooooo much! Too bad I can’t read you.” I think he saw. It’s quite em­bar­rass­ing. One day I was writ­ing pock­ets when he gave me the book and said, “You can have this.” That day I ex­pe­ri­enced the ut­most joy. All the way home I hugged the book and grinned so wide my cheeks hurt. He must have re­placed it later or paid for it, but that one random ges­ture of kind­ness made a last­ing im­pact on the lit­tle girl that I was. I loved books with a pas­sion stronger than be­fore, and I haven’t given up writ­ing. I don’t know where he is now. The space on that shelf is still fig­u­ra­tively empty. What mat­ters is that he was a big rea­son for my love for books.

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