Bestselling author Susan Orlean, right, poses with a fan after she spoke at the Watertown Free Public Library on Thursday. For writer Susan Orlean, trips to her hometown library in Shaker Heights, Ohio, had been a childhood ritual, a way of bonding with her mother as they collected armfuls of books to read and discussed their borrowed treasures on the ride home. Even today, she can remember the sights and smells of that small branch library, and the thump of the date-stamp machine as it gave the books their due dates. But for all the magic of those early visits, the adult Orlean became more of a bookstore customer than a library patron, a buyer rather than a borrower. She rediscovered her fascination with libraries around 2010, when she took her young son to visit their local library.