Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Love and the library

One city north of mine, there is a public library near a public park, around several other public buildings.

Reader, I am falling in love with this library.

Tuesday, I dropped Jonathan off at Spanish lessons in this city 15 minutes to the north. Rather than drive 25 minutes south to my office, I drove 3 minutes to the public library and found a well lit table all to myself. Spreading papers and laptop, I worked in peace for nearly three hours, occasionally resting my eyes on the titles of the books nearby.

"Exploring Norway." "Lands of the north."

And I wondered about the people who wrote those books, nonfiction, and if they ever spent their afternoons in well lit public buildings contemplating other writers of nonfiction. Thinker and writer, I went back to work invigorated, needing no additional break to take the time to drive to my office.

Thursday I returned, and found a new table in a different corner. There was a man across from me, periodically standing and then returning. And I could hear the occasional child whining in the aisles, and I suspected I would whine, too, if my babysitter brought me into adult nonfiction. On the way out, I looked over a wall of photos of former beauty queens: Miss City-15minutes-north going back to the 1950's. Stylist and dreamer, I silently laughed at the dresses and hairdos, and was glad I could look at them rather than the cinder block walls of my office.

Friday I was back, to find an art fair set up in tents just outside the library door. I wandered through the exhibits briefly before finding myself a table inside. They made me want to paint again. Critic and painter, more culturally aware, I entered the library ready to take on the day's academic project, still long before I would have arrived in my office on campus.

Back again today. I found a table upstairs, next to a plug outlet. I let my phone quietly recharge while I worked on a paper revision. Then stood to rest my back and found myself near the paranormal section. Standing, I flipped through two ghost stories. Believer and skeptic, more psychically aware, I returned to my next paper having lost only a fraction of the time I would have spent driving back from my office on campus.

Oh library, this is love. You can give me the time that I need, the peace and the freedom, and yet each day something new and exciting. I long to be with you more often and always. I dread the campus meetings that pull me away. I miss you. Do you miss me?

I love you.

Thursday, I'm getting a library card.


malcolmpurcell said...

I'm definitely a "believer"! I have library cards in several counties - although I think I can only use the one for my present county. For some reason they want you tied to the area just in case you run off with a book!

Letterpress said...

Terrific post about the value of the library--it's more than just about the books--although that's certainly what creates the ambiance.

Happy summer, if this is what you get to do this year. Sounds divine.

Soul-Fusion said...

beautifully written. I miss quiet study time in libraries. . . looks like I need to re-evaluate my priorities and get back to a lost love.