I have always love the library.
The over abundance of books. The sheer number of choices.
The silence that signifies that reading is serious business.
Libraries are not so silent anymore. Ours actually smells like a mix of old books, new carpet and homeless men's body odor. There is actually a place to download books.
But, that is also what I love about libraries. They are alive, not just buildings of old relics, but truly alive and living places.
We have been meeting with my youngest's math tutor on Mondays this summer at one of the smaller branches of our local library. The building is an example of 1960's architecture at it's finest. It is round. Inside it is all wood and really is quite cozy. And loud.
Really cool? Or really weird?
But like all of the branches of our library, it is well stock and manned by truly knowledgeable and really nice librarians. There appear to be a lot of children's programs going on during the day, hence the noise. Lots of tutoring and reading going on as well.
I have been checking books out weekly. So have my daughters. In the past two weeks alone, we have checked out 10 novels and one non-fiction (mine). All but one book has been read. Amazing.
Now, I know e-books are the way of near future and books will be gone.
But I don't want them to be. There is something about holding a book, smelling a book, feeling the paper and dogearing your stopping point, that is all part of the experience of reading. I love that you can walk into a library and just walk along the stacks and find a book you might have not been interested in and check it out and read it (or not). There is no commitment that money and the guilt of having paid twenty bucks for it might bring. I have read so many books this way. Books that changed me just a little and books that entertained me a lot.
I love libraries. I wish I could have been Carrie from Sex & The City and gotten married in the New York Library (I would have gone through with it).
Instead, I take my children in the summer and we soak up the smells and the weirdos and the semi-silence. We check out loads of books and read most of them. We hope they last forever.
I am grateful for libraries and that the city that I live in values them as well.