Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Moments with TLT; By Teen Contributor Riley Jensen

Teen Librarian Toolbox has been a part of my life for the past ten years. That means my mom must have started this whole website when I was just eight years old. Obviously, I have not been writing full posts for that long, but TLT has been such a large part of my life. It has given me so many moments and books to look back on, so that’s what I’m going to do.

All the book events– I have been to multiple book events where I have gotten to sit through panels of some of my favorite authors and talk to some of them. Not many people get to go to as many panels as I’ve been to, and it’s such a great pleasure. Just sitting there and seeing them is always so special. I’ve even been able to hug some of them and have them talk to me. It’s like a little reader’s dream.

Receiving so many books– I have always been an avid reader, and because of TLT there is never a shortage of books in our house. Whenever I feel like reading I can just go to the cart of books and know that there will be something new in whatever genre I feel like reading. It’s like a never ending supply, and my mom has already made a promise to continue sending some of them to me while I’m away at college.

Riley’s favorite author is A. S. King, whom she has met twice and has a small collection of a large number of titles from her. One day she hopes to get a complete collection.

ARC Parties– It’s been so long since one of these has been done, but I still remember doing them. Sitting at the kitchen counter and reading out the summaries and laughing or thinking about how interesting a book sounded. It was always good fun and I knew after that I would take a stack of those books back to my room and start reading one later on.

The special feeling– I’ve gotten letters from some of the authors who’s books I’ve read, and it always made me feel so special. It always meant so much to me knowing that they knew I was reading their books and they wanted me to enjoy their book. I still have those letters and all the signed bookmarks and other things. I love every single one of those items.

Riley, Kylie and A. S. King

The signed books– After the signed bookmarks, there was usually a signed book. I have a whole shelf filled with books that have been signed. Their kept separately from my other books because a good portion of them are made out to me. A lot of my favorite comfort reads are on that shelf, like Puddin’ by Julie Murphy and I Crawl Through It by A.S. King. I wish I could take all of them to college with me, but at least I know they’ll always be waiting for me back at home.

Actually talking to the authors– Because of TLT I have been able to talk to actual authors. I have had whole conversations with some of them. I have interviewed Sarah Dessen and April Henry. I mean, how many kids get to do that? Those were big moments for me, and I will never forget them.

The friendship– I share the books I read with my friends. After I finish reading one I usually send it to my friend so she can read it too. We text about those people just need to kiss already or how annoying that one character is. We’ve also probably used our shared love of reading to get on the good side of some English teachers, just in case. Reading is a huge part of our friendship, and I’m sure it always will be.

Mom– Our shared love of reading is actually really big to my mom and I. We go to book events together and read a lot of the same books. It gives us something to talk about and bring us closer together.

More mom– Also, TLT has given my mom a space where she can talk about the things she loves. It’s so nice to see her doing she loves.

Finally, the support– I have gotten so much from the people who read TLT. I have received advice about college and well-wishes and even money. All of it has helped so much as I’m about to undergo a huge change in my life and I am extremely grateful. In case you missed it, here’s me saying thank you.

TLT has been a part of my life that has given so much to me. I hope it continues to be that large part of my life for much longer. These ten years have been filled with so much love and support, and I’m glad I’ve had that.

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