I just turned 75 on Christmas Day. My daughter and her husband drove down from Brooklyn in a friend’s car to visit me in my Willow Grove house. Not once did we remove our masks. Our conversations ranged from our favorite crime fiction -- Jack Higgins -- to our favorite libraries.

Wearing a mask, I’ve been to the Upper Moreland Public Library several times during the pandemic.

Back in my hometown of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, my mother walked me -- the oldest of 6 children -- to the library. What a treat that was!

One time during the Lindbergh kidnapping, Mom walked her blond little brother -- Uncle Donny! -- and a crowd gathered around. They were finally convinced he was not the kidnapped child.

Since I am now of the age when I might get the two-part vaccine to wipe out the virus in my body, I am feeling jubilant.

Still, my home is filled with library books.

There is something sacred in reading volumes other folks have held in their hands. We share similar tastes. And need not feel so alone.

“Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” by the Nigerian immigrant Emmanuel Acho, who also played in the National Football League for a while.

“Abe: Abraham Lincoln in his Time” by David S. Reynolds, which is 1,088 pages. No renewals.

“The Lions of Fifth Avenue” a novel by Fiona Davis about perhaps the most famous library in the world.

I just returned “Let it Bleed” by the always creative Stephen King. When asked what books influenced him as a child, he named “Hot Rod” by Henry Gregor Felsen.

So join the millions of us who frequent local libraries. Say hello to the dedicated librarians: Hello Dorothy and Cathy and Emily.

And read your way through this lousy pandemic.

Ruth Deming

Willow Grove

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