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Scene in a high school dorm in 1950

Escaping town was easy as opening a book.

Reading for fun and to learn how to do things have always been popular in Prince George.

"When we were children, there was no library," said Fran Gibbons of the early 1920s.

"There was a store downtown belonging to a man named Mr. Pitman, who sold pianos and things, and in the back of the store, he had a little room with books in it. You could go into the back and borrow the book and pay, I think it was 10 cents. This was the only place you could get a book that I remember. It wasn't long after that, that some local women decided that it was time Prince George had a library of sorts. So they went around town collecting books. They somehow managed to house them upstairs in a little room in the Assman Block, which is on third Avenue, a little red brick building," Fran recalled decades later.

"Reading was a great and popular pastime of youngsters, perhaps, it has been pointed out, it was popular because it was 'free,' in these days when every penny counted and was needed," Jessie Bond Sugden wrote in In the Shadows of the Cutbanks: A Story of Growing Up in Prince George.

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