Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Why I Love the Library

Yesterday was a L-O-N-G day.

My work day went extra long, since I decided to help a co-worker. There I was, exhausted, and with still a trip to Satan’s Lair…oops, I mean, Walmart…in front of me. I had reserved some books online at the library, so I decided to stop by the library before heading to Satan’s Lair…oops, there I go again…Walmart.

As I got closer to the library, I began to feel the familiar excitement build up within me. The genuine happiness. I even felt myself speeding up my walk just a little as I stepped though the doors.

I love the library.

It hearkens back to when I was a little girl with no TV or VCR. Instead, Mom took me to the library. I remember the joy of being able to pick out all my own books. With Mom, there was never a limit to how many books I could pick out. I was a voracious speed reader, even at five. And I just read faster the older I got. My books were rarely returned late.

Now, with technology being what it is, I can look for interesting books and reserve them online with only one stop at the library required to pick them up. But, I still like to troll the library when I’m there. To breathe in the smell of book bindings, knowledge, and the expanse of the human mind committed to paper. Unlimited imagination from thousands of authors - all my fingertips. It’s pretty overwhelming and yet amazing at the same time.

I often think how impossible it would be to read every book ever written, and that kind of impossibility just stuns me.

I also love the quiet of the library. I love the fact that the library is place dedicated to silence. It is one of the few places left that has respect for silence and the difference it makes in the intake of knowledge.

One of the reasons I love the library SO much, apart for the childhood memories and the silence, is that it is a public institution. And it’s free. Anyone can walk in those doors and while they are there – the world becomes their oyster.

It’s an amazing thing.

I walked out carrying my stack of reserved books:

Born in Death
The Hard Way
Enslaved by Ducks
Shattering Glass
The House of the Scorpion

Later, I had my trip to Satan’s…I mean, Walmart. I went with Mom, and we enjoyed a quick dinner at Subway. By the time I got home, it was about 9:00 p.m. I was tired and wanted to go straight to bed. As I crawled between the covers, I just couldn’t handle the suspense. I read the first three chapters of Born in Death before I could even close my eyes.

And, do you know? I had great dreams!


Anonymous said...

Libraries are wonderful. I didn't realize we shared the library experience from a young age. My mom would let us look and look also and pick as many books as we wanted. It was most likely because we lived in the country (who had the time or money to be driving kids over to friends houses?) and we could borrow instead of buy. Great place!

Ann-Marie said...

It's funny how going into the library always makes me feel a little bit like I am going back in time to when I was a kid, even though everyone looks differnt and the books I choose are for adults! It still brings out the wonder in me.

Jennittia said...

I too, love the library. Just a couple of weeks ago a friend volunteered to watch all four of my kiddos. Where did I go? I spent two blissful hours of quiet solitude in a corner of the library!