top of page
Image by Annie Spratt
  • Writer's pictureEthan Voss

The Big Blue Bag

When I was growing up, there was always a guarantee in our house. No matter what was going on in the chaos of life, the large blue tote bag that hung on the vintage wood school desk in the corner of our living room would be jammed to the max with books and movies on loan from our local public library. I’m pretty sure it was blue, but no matter what color it actually was it would always be full. This bag contained recent adventures that were ready to be returned for a new family to enjoy and a promise of captivating new stories every time you pulled out a new book. Whether I wanted to or not, each summer Friday was spent with my mom as we paraded up and down the aisles of our Indian Creek Library back home searching for thrilling new series to enjoy while also keeping an eye out for the dog statue named Fido that promised a lollipop or sticker at the front desk if I could describe his location. It almost felt like we lived at the library.

We donated copies to the book drives and always perused the Friends of The Library discount sales for books to add to our permanent collection at home. I’ll never forget attending camps, collecting reading logs, playing games on the old computers, and even a random time that we raced dirty worms in that field near the building. While I thrived in the joyful left half of the library, I dreaded what took place on the other side. Silence. Now that I am older, I realize why my mom loved to explore the adult novels that contained more than one hundred pages. It was probably the only place she could get peace and quiet as I feared getting in trouble with the scary library ladies for even letting out a sneeze. The library was my mom’s happy place, the one place she could slip into a story for hours on end while I played some game that was supposed to have cool math lessons but just involved me launching Santa's elves over houses.

I’ll never forget the day my mom informed me, possibly through tears, that our second home, the Indian Creek Library, flooded and would be closing its doors for the final time. It almost felt like we lost a family member. We loved that place so deeply as the memories are forever stored within its walls. Months later, plans were made for a brand new state-of-the-art library to replace the branch we cared so deeply about. It looked incredible. The renderings showed an indoor waterfall wall, a 3D print lab and maker space, a podcast studio, and a modern redesign of everything we knew. When the ribbon was cut and we saw the new library for the first time, I was blown away at how incredible it looked. Since that day, I have never had the desire to go back. There are no memories, no meetings, no search committees for Fido, and no worm races that I have been a part of. It breaks my heart to think that my love of the library remains in the torn-down walls of Indian Creek. The same boy that would sit and read the 39 Clues and Magic Tree House series for hours a day now goes to hours of meetings and begrudgingly only reads books required for classes. His fun reading consists of political commentaries and leadership principles. There is something special about turning the physical pages of a fantasy adventure or mystery story that keep you up for hours on end. It bleeds into daily life with invigorated senses of imagination and a longing to be like the characters in the book. People often say that you are what you eat but I believe you are what you read.

I believe that my childhood sense of excitement for mystery and adventure hit the brakes the moment I put down the book and opened up my laptop. As believers, a true love of Christ blossoms throughout every aspect of life when you are influenced by the Scripture you consistently read. As each day finds yet another excuse to put off reading I am reminded of the words the author wrote in the 119th Psalm. It states, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” We often think that reading is a big brain task or something that requires a large amount of understanding, but rather just the simple unfolding of God’s words can bring light to everyone around. One day I look forward to leading my own child to have a passion for reading as my mom instilled in me and spend dedicated time in scripture and fruitful literature together. Who knows, maybe I will even have a blue tote bag hanging on the corner chair full to the brim for little hands to reach in and pull out an adventure.

40 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page