When I was a child, there were very few books in our home, and almost no children’s books whatsoever, so when I was finally able to ride my bike to the public library and receive my first library card when I was ten, it was an important day for me.
I remember that first visit to the library like it was yesterday. My hometown library was little more than a single, poorly lit room in the lower level of the town hall, and while it contained more books than I had ever seen, it only consisted of about half a dozen aisles of books.
Today, the library occupies the building that was once my middle school. It is enormous, modern, multi-leveled and bright. I did a reading there a few years ago when my first book was published, and while it is vastly superior to the library that I had growing up, I still love the thought of that small, dimly lit room that opened the world of literature to me.
I still remember the first book that I checked out of the library, but I cannot remember the title, and for years, I have been trying to find it. It was a dystopian science fiction story in which the tallest buildings in the world begin to liquefy, starting with the Sears Tower in Chicago, the tallest building at the time. The very tip of the building first begins to liquefy, and as the height of Sears Tower comes even with the second tallest building in the world, that building begins to liquefy as well.
Eventually all the buildings of the word begin to liquefy at exactly the same rate, throwing the planet into terror and chaos.
Ultimately, it is discovered that this is the work of an alien race that feels obliged to ensure that mankind does not advance technologically beyond a point that is considered safe. By keeping building no taller than six stories, the aliens believe that the technological advancement of the human race will be curtailed. Ultimately, every building of the world is liquefied to this point.
Thirty years have passed since I read that book. While I’m sure that it is out of print and nearly impossible to find, I would at least like to know what the title of that first library book was.
If you happen to know the title, could you let me know?
And if you know a librarian or someone who might know, would you mind inquiring for me?
I would be forever grateful.