Monday, February 22, 2016

Library

“a place where books, magazines, and other materials (such as videos and musical recordings) are available for people to use or borrow”


Although that’s the definition provided by Merriam-Webster, to me it just doesn’t cut it. 


In my opinion, a more accurate definition would be: “a place where dreams are made, adventures are plentiful, and absolutely anything is possible; an endless source of knowledge, of magic, of mystery, of possibility, and much, much more.”


I remember my first trip to the library. To my six-year-old Beauty and the Beast loving self it felt like a castle. This imagery was aided by the fact it stood on top of a hill, with white columns out front and beautifully decorated reading rooms with painted portraits on the walls. My sister and I used to pick a room and pretend we lived there. We’d sprawl sideways in the comfy chairs to read a book or magazine, and then venture over to visit each other at our “homes.”





But that was once I’d grown accustomed to going and the two of us would walk there on our own. On that very first trip I remember being with my father, looking around me in awe as he guided me toward the children’s room and let me choose a pile of books to bring to my *actual* home. 


But more than my first trip taking books from the library, I remember when we returned them. I’d been taught to put things back where they belong and so, while my father chatted with a librarian, I took the books I’d borrowed and tried my hardest to remember the exact shelf I’d taken each one from. A few minutes later, satisfied I’d been able to remember where they went—one of the early uses of a photographic memory—I returned to my dad.


“Where are your books?” he asked.


“I put them back where they belong!” I said proudly. 


I remember what followed was some laughter and an “oh no!” and I had to take the two of them back around to find the books once more.


I figured the ropes out after that, and I remember many trips to my castle library and then many trips to the libraries in the subsequent towns I lived in. The one where I currently live is large and well-stocked, although not as castle-like as the first. I live in the same town my mother grew up in, and even before moving here I remember visiting my grandma and walking excitedly to the center of town for some books—also with my sister—and carrying home armfuls that I’d finish well before the two weeks were up.


I’ve come to realize as much as I love reading (see: A LOT) I also love just going to the library. Even though the days of finishing my books on time are long gone (now I usually have to renew them, and even that might not be enough!) and some could argue it’d be much easier to just buy them and not have to worry or skip the printed word and opt for all eBooks (NEVER!), I’ll always love going to the treasure troves that are libraries. There’s so many memories attached to my trips there, and there’s just something about seeing all those books in one place. 


Add in the complete beauty in the design of most libraries, then start thinking about all the bibliophiles that have been there before you; all the other people who’ve read the books that line the shelves; all the discoveries made—the mischief managed—the romances swooned over, the mysteries solved, the lessons learned, the history experienced, the possibilities envisioned…  why, it’s almost too much to handle! 

...Or maybe I'm just an overly sentimental writer. 

Either way,
l
ibraries contain magic, and libraries *are* magic. Don’t believe me? Check out my BookBub article: 33 of the World’s Most Gorgeous Libraries.

Do you have any library related-memories?

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