When I was a little girl, my grandfather, John F. Berrent, was a retired guidance counselor who worked as a substitute teacher in the Baltimore City Public Schools. When the library was discarding its older titles, my grandfather would bring them to his house for me. The books used different paper than modern books. It was a thick paper that was often dyed purple around the edges – this on books such as Password to Larkspur Lane of the Nancy Drew series and Donna Parker at Cherryvale. I enjoyed reading these older books because the feel of them was special and nostalgic, something you could no longer easily obtain.
In August, I visited the town of Valladolid, Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula while traveling between Chichen Itza to Tulum and Coba. I had a feeling I would like the town when I saw the sign that said: “Valladolid – Una Ciudad Limpia y Tranquila” (A Clean and Calm City). My husband and I agreed – that’s our kind of place. However, I did not expect that I would be so lucky as to stumble upon the library. The kindly librarians and the older titles reminded me of Saturday afternoons reading in my grandfather’s living room in Dundalk, Maryland. It brought me back to that place in my childhood, and I was absolutely thrilled to visit a library in Mexico and see how a beautiful colonial town has made a place for los libros.