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Last night I went to Verse & Vino, the annual fundraising dinner for Charlotte’s library system. I go to a lot of these kinds of things with my job, but this one is definitely one of my favorites. Its highlights are buying books, meeting their authors, and drinking wine. If they could somehow throw puppies into this mix, this would actually my fantasy party.

Last year’s event convinced me to read ALL of Karin Slaughter’s books, two excellent novels by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Balm and Wench), and a disturbing book by Chris Bohjalian called The Guest Room.

Last night, Rumaan Alam spoke briefly about his debut novel, Rich and Pretty, but the real power of his speech was in telling the crowd to get it together with this HB2 stuff in North Carolina. Meanwhile, Tom Rinaldi made me literally cry in his description of personally reading his book, The Red Bandanna, to the parents of its subject, Welles Crowther, who died after saving lives on 9/11.

My favorite part of last night though was hearing these authors describe their own experiences with the library. Do you remember going to the library as a child? I do. I can vividly remember being a small child and carrying large stacks of books up to a counter as high as I was to check out. I remember the thrill of getting my first library card.

These days I download most of my books from an app that never requires me to leave my bed, much less step inside a library. But I love that they exist. And last night convinced me that it might be time to go spend an afternoon in one.



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