As long time readers know, I have previously written on being a bibliophile.
So, in honour of National Library week, I’ve written a love note:
Entering your place overflowing with literature causes a hush within me. There is so much to learn, to encounter, and to experience- all in one place. I stand in awe of the words, the efforts and emotions within the volumes lining your walls. What wonders will be known if I read this one; what emotions will be sensed if I experience that one; what insights will be undertaken if I challenge myself with this one? No matter what my response, each and every one both touches and changes me irrevocably.
Encased within my mind is a personal library of all I have already read. Many of those past volumes became best friends. Having devoured novels at the rate of two per day in high school, I now wish to return to them, to linger, discovering fresh reflections, experiencing and comprehending those tragedies and joys in ways only a matured woman can. Many classics reveal a character depth I never could have perceived in my youthful years. While those books were languishing on your shelves, I was in a constant state of flux, experiencing upheaval, renewal and growth. Once, oh so long ago, I cheered the villain,perceiving their dreadful traits in myself, vicariously living their life, only to suffer the repercussions that befell their character. Novels are a unique form of literature that allow me to consider a character’s issues and choices as my own.
Struggling with some conflict today, I often select a book on your ‘staff choices’ shelf and then been unable to put it down. The true blessing of a novel is that there is an end. The whole picture, denied so often in my own life, is clearly developed and concluded. Drawn in, I undergo the nuances of a character in the passage of their daily life and face rejection and transformation.
To immerse myself in a literature inspired situation is to embrace emotions and to wrestle with conflicts as one’s own. No one knows of my regret or burden, or how my own life choices are challenged while a book labours within my secret recesses.
Often, the satisfying conclusion reveals answers for my own uncertain life situation.
But truly, all books are life changing in one way or another, both fiction and non-fiction, from biographies to comedies.
Being a serious reader is almost by modern definition to be a rebel in a technologically driven society. Yet, a serious reader is who I am, and who I will remain. Even while raising my children, I discovered moments could be snatched while feeding a new baby, watching my lads building sand castles at the beach or stirring soup at the stove. I found those interludes, however often they may have been brief, to be essential for my life. Libraries are a life essential. Books long ago became “a wonder to my nature, each a keepsake of inestimable value, a snapshot of an old friend, a diary entry of enriching experience, a postcard from a place like no other. Books are memories made tangible, and surrounded by them I have managed to confront the rapid transit of years, the frantic pace of my days”.(Eric Burns).
Thanks to your many benefactors, you, my beloved library, provide me with amply ways to fulfill my chosen epithet- ‘so many books, so little time’.
Ah, but surely, even heavenly rooms are filled with books.
Your grateful patron
Libraries are Essential is an interesting FB page celebrating libraries.