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Leisure summer reading: Cushing's Island Lending Library

(Added 12 August 2010)

While holidaying on Cushing’s Island, Casco Bay, Maine (see the 2008 post “Other people’s holidays are annoying”) Leisure Projects was charmed by the Island Lending Library.

Located in the front room of the Meacham cottage, the lending library is open to cottage regulars and first time visitors alike. Reading can be done in-situ, or books can be signed out using the self-service wicker basket sign-out system. Books are outfitted with library sign-out cards, which are deposited for sign-out reference with return dates determined by the borrower. The book selection, organized by size, theme and age appropriateness, is very strong in large format picture books and coming-of-age adventure fiction, making the Island Lending Library particularly popular with the 13 and under set.

Leisure Projects took the opportunity to re-visit some of our favourites:

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome, first published in 1930
An illustrated series that chronicles the sailing adventures of John, Susan, Titty and Roger (Swallow) and Nancy and Peggy (Amazon). Through their pluck and ingenuity, the crews of the two boats share adventures of survival (outdoor camping drinking lemonade and using coal burners) and high-sea piracy (summer of 1929 in the Lake District).

The Borrowers by Mary Norton, first published in 1952
A series that describes in great detail the atmosphere, ingenuity and lifestyle of miniature people who live in the walls of houses — Pod Clock, Homily Clock and their adventurous teenage daughter, Arrietty Clock.

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, first published in 1962
A series in which “bad-tempered adolescent” outcast Meg Murray navigates the universe by way of a time warping tesseract (a fifth-dimensional phenomenon explained as being similar to folding the fabric of space and time) in search of her mysteriously disappeared father. With the help of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which she navigates the utopian planet Uriel, the dark clouded shadows of The Black Thing, and the mechanical perfection of the suburban planet Camazotz.

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