LIBRARY MEMORIES

Saturday, January 20, 2018

I went to the library the other day. (No, this isn't an unusual occurrence... but still worth mentioning for the purpose of this post.)

From a very young age I've loved the library -- my mother has raised me quite well in this. She'd take my sister and I almost weekly. The three of us would pile into our car, bags filled with stories  ready to return so we could collect a new stack of adventures.

Once inside, I'd always rush straight to the children's section. Sometimes they'd host fun little shows where a magician or juggler would arrive, but mostly it was silent, and I'd be surrounded by thousands of colorful books.

I was a cover judger. (and still might be... oops.) But it makes sense for my younger self -- if I couldn't page through the book and read snippets of the story... instead it was the art and the pictures and the pretty font that made me check it out. Little me would rush through the rows and wooden compartments, shoving new reads into my kid-sized tote.

Or I'd return to old favorites: The Berestein Bears, any sort of fairytale, Franklin, Curious George... and when I entered the world of chapter books, series like Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and the Boxcar Children.


The three of us would line up in front of the desk, giggling at how our bags overflowed and the looks of shock others gave us. We stacked the books into piles, watching as the librarian started the long process of checking them out. My sister and I stood on our tiptoes, eyes just above the counter, waiting to see if we went over the book limit.

Ahh, the dreaded book limit. The crusher of a bookworm's soul. The kind of monster that hid in my closet and under my bed as a child. (am I exaggerating slightly? maybe. BUT STILL.)

Our library declared a limit of one hundred books, which may sound like a lot, but not to this family -- to our family. We used to have daily reading sessions where we would spread 15+ picture books across our carpet. My sister and I took turns running to pick out a book before jumping back on the couch to snuggle on either side of our mother. That couch was where my love and passion for stories began, and never went away.

Once the librarian finished scanning the books -- I watched her do this so many times that my six-year-old self could've probably done it myself -- we'd load up our bags again. My mom with her giant, striped red one, and mine with my identical one... just a kid-sized version. Even my younger sister carried her own bag, matching ours but with blue stripes instead of red.

my mother's old library tote. OH THE MEMORIES <3
I'm surprised the seams never broke with how those bags bulged. I remember how hard it was for hobbit-sized Katie to lug her tiny, yet very heavy tote to the librarian's desk. Often Mom would have to come to the rescue. :)

These are my old, nostalgic, library memories. I've moved on from the picture books, and even from the regular library we used to go to. I've outgrown the fear of the book limit. Now the libraries are all automated self-checkouts -- which is bitter-sweet because there's no opportunity to talk to another bookish soul. *sniff*

I do miss it -- I miss the memories of being young, but then again, there are things that my younger self couldn't possibly understand. I didn't understand the excitement of browsing the YA shelves! And Little Katie didn't yet hold the dream of having her own book on those rows of stories. <3

I'll treasure those moments, and it's so cool to see how far back my love for stories has spread.

<3
katie grace

what about you? any library/bookish memories from when you were younger? I'd love to hear them!
(and happy birthday to my very lovely sister who turns fifteen today! <3)

61 comments :

  1. AWW I can so relate. and LOL same. the 100 book limit!! ahh that horrible thing XD one time my librarian asked if I actually read all of the books and inwardly I was like "YOU DOUBT ME??" XD but its so true, I miss those days of coming home after the library and being surrounded by books -- best. thing. ever. xD

    but is is great to be older too and be able to be a part of the library and events and still get armloads of books -- so that's pretty epic haha. lovely post, Katie -- it brought back some good memories <33

    sarah » the introverted extrovert

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    1. AWWW THAT'S SO FUNNY. I feel like librarian's should understand the most, but oh well. xD Don't you work at a library now?? Or is that Julia? *can't remember*

      Eeep thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. <3

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  2. First, happy birthday to your sister! I hope she has an awesome day!

    I don't like the self-checkouts. My library recently remodeled, has a bunch of librarians, yet we have to use the self-checkout. I just don't understand it. On top of that, the book choices seem less than what they used to be. The YA section is filled with books that are less than favorable.

    Most of the librarians I knew from childhood are gone, replaced with new people who always seem grumpy.

    But I remember being extremely excited to go to the library. There were reading challenges with prizes in the summer and fun art classes. There always activities and events. The place had been small, yet seemed so large on the inside with little rooms tucked away. They knocked the original building down and it took quite a while for them to rebuild.

    I'm not a big fan of the new set up.

    As for book limits... 100!!!! That would be awesome. Our limit is much, much smaller than that.

    Wonderful post. It took me down memory lane to my own library adventures. <3

    ~Ivie
    Ivie Writes

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    1. Ughh and I totally agree. The self-checkouts are cool... but I would much rather go up to the librarian's desk like the old times. *sniff* I guess a lot of places these days are switching to electronic type services.

      Ha, and me too! I've never had much luck with nice librarians. xD

      OH YEAH READING CHALLENGES. Those were always fun. Especially the prizes, hehe.

      Aww, I'm so glad. Thanks for readng, Ivie!

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  3. Can we just talk about how precious this post is? My heart felt squeezed with emotion reading this because growing up the library was like my second home.

    And honestly tiny Katie :") and just the way you describe your sister and your mom...FEELS GIRL. xxx

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    1. AWW. I'm so glad I could strike some emotion in your soul! I felt all the emotion as I wrote this, too, so I'm glad it came across that way. <3

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  4. Oh, the library. If I could have, I would have spent hours and hours there. I would bring home as many books as my mom would let me (which wasn't nearly as much as I would have liked). When I was 11 and 12 I would bring home 8 or 10 full-out novels, and then read them in as many days, if not less XD

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    1. Saaame! I love the comforting feel of the library. There's nothing better than being surrounded by a lot of books!

      Whoah, that's a lot. I love the insanity of bookworms. xD

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  5. Ohh gosh, library memories! Mine are a little different from just going to the library to get books. My most nostalgic memories from the library are from the summer reading program they had every year. Every week there would be a different activity or show-- games, contests, and sometimes magicians or people with cool animals (the best/worst part of those shows were getting picked as a volunteer. I always raised my hand when the magician or whatever asked for one, but then when they picked me I was like "oh shoot." xD).

    We would have a little activity book that had a place to write down all the books we read, and every time we read ten more books we'd get a prize. I think I was always one of the ones with the most books. xD

    Every time I go into the kids' room of the library I'm just hit with all these memories from every summer of my life from about age 5-11 or so. It definitely makes me nostalgic. :')

    Also YEESS BERENSTEIN BEARS those were the BEST books. xD

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    1. Awww. Hehe, my worst nightmare is getting picked as a volunteer. I can imagine the panic hen you actually were picked. xD

      Yess go you. *high-fives* I loved the summer reading program prizes. :P

      YAY SOMEONE ELSE WHO LOVES THE BERENSTEIN BEARS.

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  6. This was a really peaceful and lovely post to read. Also #relatable.

    I'm pretty sure everyone in the comments is already saying this, but whatever: THE BERENSTAIN BEARS AND THE BOXCAR CHILDREN. The staples of my childhood (also Corduroy!!).

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    1. YESSS. Aww, Corduroy too! I remember those books. I'm pretty sure we owned most of the Boxcar Children books at one point and it took up a whole row of our bookshelf. xD

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  7. I love the library! And I'm also a cover judger. ;D

    This was such a sweet post. <3

    -Gray Marie | graymariewrites.blogspot.com

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  8. Aww, Katie! This was the sweetest, cutest most reminiscent post ever. <3 I loved every word. We used to have a very similar bag we carried all of our books in, and it never broke either! Oh, I remember the dreaded book limit. XD My sister (who was six years older than me and already into chapter books) never seemed to get many books, but I grabbed all the picture books I could lay my hands on.

    My mom always read me two books right before I went to bed, up until my little sister was born. Of course I was a bit bitter about that, but after a while my mom was reading all of my old favorites to her and all the cozy memories came flooding back.

    I don't go to the library nearly as much, anymore, but I still get the same thrill I used to.

    ~ Ella Marie

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    1. Picture books are so much fun. xD I love babysitting so I can revisit all the nostalgic stories I used to enjoy! <3

      The library is such a wonderful place. <3 Thanks for sharing, Ella!

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  9. Awwwww, this is so sweet!! Oh my word! I remember always going to our old library- our children’s section was like, the coolest ever. I loved all the toys themed to match our favorite stories (MAINLY Berestein Bears!! <3) And then, as I got older, we’d weave our way further up the aisles (finding the Nancy Drew books and such).
    I still love reading, but it seems to take me forEVER to finish a book, not have something keeping me busy, or even find a book that’s decent. But it’s still so awesome to leave reality and enter another character’s world :D
    (Btw, I FINISHED A TIME TO DIE AND I’M ONTO A TIME TO SPEAK. It’s...ahhh. Pretty sure I died, there...;( )
    I loved this post so much, Katie!!
    ~ riley aline

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    1. Oooh you had TOYS in your library? That's crazy cool! We definitely didn't have that. Though we did have a mini fire truck that we could read stories in. xD

      SAAAME. *sobs* I wish I had more time and focus for reading!

      OH MY GOODNESS THAT CLIFFHANGER THOUGH, AM I RIGHT?? ARE YOU ALIVE? AHH. But watch out... A Time to Speak's cliffhanger is even worse... o.o

      Thanks for reading, Riley!

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  10. This is so sweet and nostalgic and gah I love it. It reminds me SO much of my own childhood. I think we might just even own that bag. ;)

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    1. Oh my goodness, really? Bag buddies! :P

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  11. The library is one of my all-time favorite places!!! All the books, and the quiet, and the old-fashioned feel to it all... Goodness, I love it. :D

    Your nostalgic post has sparked similar nostalgic memories of my younger bookdragon self's enthusiastic libary visits. Those were the days... ^.^

    Lila - The Red-Hooded Writer

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    1. Awww. Wasn't the library awesome? I used to nanny over the summer and it was fun seeing the kids get crazy excited over visiting the library. :D

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  12. I remember taking stacks of books out of my library too - although we usually only took about 10 out at a time.

    The children's section was my favorite too. I read a lot of Nancy Drew, Dear America, and several other middle grade books there. I got introduced to my favorite book of all time - Saddles for Breakfast - there too.

    I haven't been to a "normal" library in about 5 years or so - college libraries aren't nearly the same. Free Kindle book hauls can only go so far after all. I'd never heard of self-automated checking out books...

    Wonderful post, Katie!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. *gasp* Just ten? Hehe, I'm kidding. To a normal person (especially a kid), that's still quite a lot. xD

      Aww, I remember reading Dear America! Wow, what a throwback. It's crazy how I've forgotten about all of these books!

      Eh, the self-automated checking out books aren't that great. I miss the librarians. *sniff*

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  13. My dad has done IT work for a library an hour from our house (we live in the middle of nowhere) for most of my life, so I used to go there quite a bit and hang out in the kid's section, go to the little story-time thing they did, and check out as many books as I was allowed, first picture books, then stacks of novels and informational books on animals or science or art. I've started hanging around there again lately because it's a good place to study or get volunteer hours in (And because I love the quiet and the books). Actually, the one benefit of having to drive an hour in either one direction or the other to get to the stuff I do is that I have access to like 5 libraries (including my college's), haha.

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    1. Awww, how fun. And yeah -- I don't go to the library too often, but I do enjoy plopping down in a corner and doing some writing. It's a very calming atmosphere. :)

      Five... five libraries? Wowza. xD

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  14. I love this post you did!! <3 <3 <3 When I was little I use to love to go to the library, I still do. :D
    Lily @ lilymaesday.blogspot.com

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    1. The library's an awesome place for all ages. :D

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  15. 100 books!? I thought I was so lucky to take out 8 at a time! But apart from that, my childhood library experience pretty much mirrored yours, from the moment I got my library card at, like, 6 months of age. I have my old library bag somewhere - it's one my aunt made for me and the material is farmyard-themed. Your mum's bag looks incredibly sturdy though! Lovely post, Katie, and as my contract for working at the library finishes next week, it's giving me all the emotions! (Don't mind me wiping my eyes in the corner and smiling insanely because it's been one of the most fun years of my life, haha.)

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    1. Oh my gosh... EIGHT BOOKS? That's... that's nothing! *hands you chocolate* That would be plenty of books for me now, but definitely not for my younger self. :P

      Aww that's so cute! I love that your aunt made it for you -- that adds a bunch of uniqueness to it. :)

      *sniff* That's so sad! It's hard to leave a place that you've grown to love. Mehh I'm so sad that you have to stop. :(

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  16. I relate to this sooo much! I remember we would have these rolling bags, basically like a rolling backpack but slightly bigger, and we would fill them up with all of our picture books. And I remember when the self-checkout was a brand-new thing, and it was soooo exciting to get to scan the books ourselves! Libraries are definitely one of my favorite places.

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    1. Oh my goodness rolling bags?!? That's so cool! Then you don't have to struggle dragging them across the floor. xD

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  17. I used to go to the library like every week. I just love it so much. I actually volunteered there for a while—which was awesome, and I’m eager to return to it someday soon when I have a little more time. :P Your memories are so similar to mine. It’s a little bit uncanny, actually! XD

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    1. Ooh, volunteering at the library would be so much fun! I've always wanted to get a job at the library someday. :D

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  18. AWWW excuse me but SMOL KATIE IS ADORABLE. <3 <3 I could imagine you lugging massive bags of books and gah. So cuute. XD

    Honestly though, THIS SOUNDS LIKE MY CHILDHOOD. O-O
    We'd go to the library every week at least, and have at least five bags that we'd fill with books. No book limits for us. There was this self-checkout thing where you scanned the books, and then you could print a list of all the books at the end. About 80% of the time, the list (kinda like a receipt?) would end up touching the floor it was so long.

    AND CURIOUS GEORGE WAS THE BESTEST. Also the Berenstain bears and fairtales and the boxcar children. Just yeesssss.

    I couldn't help but notice "If you give a mouse a cookie" in your picture because OH MY WORD THAT BOOK. XD It's hilarious. XP

    We don't actually go to the library as much anymore, but that's because a) there's more of us now so it's more effort to all get into the car and drive to town. and b) we have a gazillion books and ours are better than the ones at the library these days anyway so people may as well come to our house instead. XD

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    1. AWWW FIVE BAGS?! THAT'S HARDCORE. xD And omg I love the skyscraper-long receipt. That made me giggle.

      Oh my goodness I love all of the "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" books. Those were my favorites. The illustrations and story were so fun. :D

      Hehe, yes! One time we had to bring a giant grocery box for all the books we had to return, and a guy said, "They're opening their own library!" So I definitely relate. :P

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  19. oh my gosh, I love this!! So much nostalgia in this post omg. I grew up <10 minutes from our local library, and I swear half my childhood was there.

    (also, my old library had a 30 BOOK LIMIT???? There's a reason I got my own card as soon as I learned to write. I have a 100 book limit now, but pshhhh as if I have time to read 100 books now?)

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    1. Eeee thank you. I love nostalgic posts. <3

      Ha, I wish I had better reading speed. *sobs* Though honestly I don't know if there would be enough quality YA books to keep me interested. :P

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  20. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! FROG AND TOAD!! They're so good! <3 (we quote '"Blah," said Toad' all the time xD)

    Our library didn't have ANY limit on books when I was young... but a few years back they put a 20-ITEM LIMIT. Like what. Do they want us to use the library or not??? So every member of our family signed up for a card (we'd previously been using only one - the card my mum signed me up for at a few weeks old...) and upped our total limit to 140. xD
    - Jem Jones

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    1. Toad is very relatable. xD

      Oh my goodness I just laughed out loud. I love that she gave you a card right after you were born. She definitely has her priorities straight. xD

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  21. ahh, the library.
    i love going in there for the school holidays and just borrowing a stack of books. :)
    when i was little, my younger sister and i would borrow from the toy library (it's what it sounds like), and we really had a blast with that.

    this is such a lovely post idea, katie - it's so nice to look back at those memories.
    (also, happy (belated) birthday to your sister :D)

    - charli

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    1. Ooh I didn't know there were such things as toy libraries! That's neat. o.o

      Thank you for reading, Charli. <3

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  22. I actually just visited the library by my old house (haven't been there in over ten years) and it almost made me cry. I don't think it had changed a bit. Libraries are such wonderful places!

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    1. Aww! That's so special -- it's like almost traveling back in time. <3

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  23. I've been loving posts like this so much lately! Absolutely loved reading through this. Going to the library is one of my favorite things in the world. :)

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    1. That's so good to hear! And I completely agree. I hope that libraries never, ever, ever stop being a thing.

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  24. I've always loved the library. I don't remember if there were actual limits when I was growing up...my mom told us how many books we could get. At the library where I work, it's 30 per card. SO MANY GOOD BOOKS! I admit, I didn't really mind the self checkout they had in my old county (we moved 2 1/2 years ago) because I didn't really want to talk to people, and the best librarian left the library when I was little and still in storytime. I loved storytime. My new library system doesn't have self checkouts, though, and I love it when I can talk to the kids about the books they're checking out. And also when I flip through the books to check for damage and it's a trip down memory lane. I have SO many good memories centered around books and libraries. I even used to pretend to be a librarian as a kid.

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    1. Aww, now you work at a library? THAT'S THE BEST THING EVER. I wanted to be a librarian -- I still think I would enjoy it as a job. I'm glad you don't have a self checkout at your library. It's so much more fun to talk to everyone!

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  25. Oh my gosh libraries = love
    We recently moved, and I still haven't gotten around to getting a library card, but I'm excited to! I've heard little about the library here, but it has to be better than the one in my old town. But even though our old library was pathetic and ugly, old (but not at all in a cool or classy way), and disheveled, I still have so many memories of that place.

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    1. Awww. I guess it has more character than a normal library? :P A rundown library seems like a place where it would have secret passageways. xD

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  26. That is so cute! I did go to the library as a kid, but not often enough to remember it that well.

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    1. I had to piece together what memories I had, so I can relate. xD

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  27. I tagged you on my blog!

    Lily @ lilymaesday.blogspot.com

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    1. Ooh, thank, Lily! I'll have to go check it out. :)

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  28. Love this nostalgic post! I love hearing about people's old book memories. :)

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    1. Isn't it fun? I'm glad you enjoyed reading this, Amaris. <3

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  29. This was the sweetest, most nostalgic little post ever! My mom used to take my siblings and I to the library every single week and it was the best thing ever! I was also for sure a cover judger too, though I wouldn't have admitted it. Oftentimes the only reason I would pick up a book was because of a pretty cover! I've grown out of it now, of course! ;) Also the limit at our library was 75, so we had it much harder! The struggles of the readers are real!!
    I love this post! <3

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    1. Ack, only 75 books?! That definitely would've been hard. I'm grinning over the thought of little Hannah and her siblings visiting the library. :D

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  30. SUCH A NOSTALGIC POST! :D I remember my Mom had a special bag for our books too. It was red with blue, bookish quotes on it. And at the library we always went to, there were puppets I would always love to play with. Good times. <3

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    1. Aww, I love that your bag had bookish quotes on it! That's so cool. o.o AND PUPPETS? Wowza, your library had it all! xD

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  31. Awwwwwwwwwwww!! This was literally the most precious and happy thing I've read all day... <3 I can't even. XD

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