I was nine or ten when the obsession began. This was the dawn of a strange and inexplicable few years in my small-girl life when I couldn’t be interested in anything without being consumed by it. I was obsessed with the weather like I was obsessed with Pogs and pewter dragons fused to amethyst, with the Beatles and The Kids in the Hall and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS soundtrack. I tore through books about tornadoes, first at the public library and then at the Waldenbooks in the mall, thirty minutes away in Madison, where my mother and I drove on weekends. We spent hours in that tiny chain bookstore, where I snaked from the horror section to the nonfiction aisle, sitting on the floor with a stack of Christopher Pike and R. L. Stine and whatever slick new odes to destruction I could find.
Pamela Pierce is the Digital Scholarship & Repository Librarian at Oregon Health & Science University. "Livin' Like Jagger: The Hardcore Life of a Digitizing Librarian" was published in RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage. She grew up in Tucson when people still hung out at malls. Park [Place?] Mall was her primary mall and Tucson Mall was saved for special occasions. She left her hometown and now lives in Portland, Oregon.