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Intruder in Wombourne Library

Can you remember your first book? I mean the one that got you hooked into reading? Or where you were? Let me tell you my story....

I approached the door of Wombourne library timidly. My mum, the local alterations lady was in the dress shop opposite in deep discussion. She was often asked to do impossible things like a make a dress three inches wider at the waist when the seams had only a one inch allowance. I could sense she was frustrated but she kept her calm. We needed the extra cash for our holiday in Germany - the only time my mum got to see her sisters and parents. I was bored waiting.

This was my first visit to a library and the first time I had strayed from my mum. My parents never visited libraries.

It was warm inside. I expected the lights to be brighter.

"Can I help you?" a whispered voice asked behind me.

I stammered and stuttered, "Just want to see the books."

The old lady pointed to the left, so I dutifully reacted by shuffling off in that direction.

I trailed my hand over the fiction books and selected one at random. It was a historical romance by Victoria Holt. I felt guilty, as if I was a trespasser and had found the hoard of jewels or secret papers. I panicked, I did not belong here. No one in my family was a reader. I went to run out but something was stopping me. A small voice in my head telling me if I could stop being so sacred I would love it here. It was an Aladdin's cave of adventures, love stories, knowledge, other worlds and future.

Mandy Brown Author

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