Page Turners

Page Turners: Marcia Lance


Today we announce January’s featured reader for Page Turners of Jefferson County, which asks a local resident to reflect on the role books and reading have played in his or her life.

Marcia Lance is the circulation supervisor at the Charles Town Library. Born and raised in a small rural community twenty miles east of Cincinnati, OH, Marcia came, after high school and Southern Ohio Business School, to Washington, D.C., to work for the federal government. Here she met and married a career Air Force Sargeant, Jim Lance. Their early married life was spent in England where Jim was stationed. For two years they traveled all over England and the Continent. When Jim retired from the Air Force, they decided to move to Charles Town to be near family. Marcia came weekly to the Charles Town Library with her two children. After Marcia’s youngest child started school, Mrs. Shewbridge, at the time the librarian of the Charles Town Library, asked Marcia if she wanted a job at the library. After two weeks as a page, she was promoted to the Circulation Desk and thirty-one years later, she is still there. She loves her job, her co-workers, and the patrons she has met on a daily basis.

Marcia has a very special vantage point–she gets to see firsthand when checking out books, what people are reading. And she gets to see all the new books as they come through.

When Marcia isn’t working at the library or reading, she is quilting.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

The Girl with the Crooked Nose by Ted Botha; a book about Frank Bender, a forensic artist; The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, about the various extinctions that have occurred and the possibility of a sixth.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading?

I will read just about anything that catches my eye. I especially like mysteries and short stories. I really enjoy non-fiction also.

When and where do you like to read?

My best reading light is in my sewing room so that is where I do most of my reading.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

Serge Storms, the main character in all of Tim Dorsey’s books. He’s the character that Dexter is based on.

What was the last book you put down without finishing?

Some of my friends will read a book to the bitter end. Not me. If a book doesn’t grab me within 50 pages or so, I can put it down. Maybe I’ll pick it up later and maybe I won’t.

What three authors (living or dead) would you invite to a dinner party?

Michael Shaara. I would ask him how he blended historical fact and fiction together so beautifully in Killer Angels.

Tim Dorsey. I would like to know how he comes up with so many bizarre ways for Serge to do away with the bad guys.

Steven Leavitt. I would thank him for his books on Freakonomics and for making me think about ordinary things in a different light.

What childhood memories stick out the most in your mind?

We lived way out in the country. Every two weeks the local bookmobile would stop at the end of the lane. My mother would pack a lunch for me and my sister and we would take our wagon and books and wait for the bookmobile. We would each get ten or twenty books apiece and back home we would go. There was a large sycamore tree about half way home and we would sit under it, eat our lunch, and agonize over which book to read first.

Which five books would you take with you on a desert island?

Michael Shaara’s Killer Angels–favorite book of all time; Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air; Guy Harrison’s 50 Popular Beliefs that People Think are True; Robert Cowley’s What If….; and any Freakonomic book.

Is there a book you have read and liked that you are embarrassed to admit?

There is a Slight Chance That I Might Be Going to Hell by Laurie Nataro.

What do you plan to read next?

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding.

Photo of Jim and Marcia Lance in Hawaii.



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