Books, for me, are a home. Books don't make a home - they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.Often her memories go back to the Accrington Public Library, with its Dewey Decimal System, and cubicles for "individual study" - right next to the large print book section - to which Winterson observes "Mrs W was nothing if not old-fashioned. She knew that masturbation made you blind....Presumably one thing led to another."
There is warmth there too - a hearth. I sit down with a book and I am warm.
Winterson speaks well of librarians saying they are "reliable" and even mentions thinking about becoming one herself, as the best, of the few choices, she sees for a young woman from Accrington where "women couldn't be anything except wives or teachers or hairdressers or secretaries or do shop work....[or]librarians...[she] thought of doing that" but decided she would rather write her own books.
Books, libraries, bookstores, reading, and writing all play important roles in Winterson's life. She is quite philosophical about the way she was raised - book burning and all - as she recognizes that without that denial she might never have learned to appreciate reading, and the life of the mind, it helped her to develop.