Let’s talk about libraries.

I have always loved books. My earliest memory is of my father reading me Dr. Seuss before bedtime and I distinctly remember begging him to read me ‘just one more’. I also remember my first time in a library. My hometown has a wonderful public library and I spent the majority of my summer holidays curled up in there with all the books. During my first visit, I was with my babysitter Aunty Barb, a kindly old woman, with arms the size of tree trunks, whom I drove partially mad and quite frankly she had a very strong heart for the amount of times I almost gave her a heart attack. I was an awful kid, but I always behaved myself in a library.

I was enchanted. There was a lot of people, but everyone was quiet; talking in whispers, and it was as if the whole building was sacred. I remember being amazed at all of the books; I’d previously had no idea that so many books could exist in one place before. Aunty Barb was holding her breath and watching me like a hawk, waiting for the trouble to start but none did. I just stood there and stared with my jaw somewhere near the floor. Aunty Barb returned her books and picked up some new ones, all the while staring at me like I had grown a second head. For the first time in the four years of my short existence I was behaving myself.

The atmosphere of a library is singularly unique and I’ve never encountered anything quite like it. I’ve seen a library turn the most rowdiest kids into well-behaved darlings the minute they walk through the door; I was one of them. In my childhood it was the ‘magical book place’ and now it’s a safe haven, a quiet place to think and write and research. It’s a place of right answers and facts. It’s a place of sanctuary. My best friend became my best friend in a library. My grandfather met my grandmother in a library and they fell in love there. Libraries are capable of bringing communities together and contain more knowledge than most people will read about in their lifetime. Libraries can open doorways to different worlds and places; they can help you expand your imagination and they will always welcome you with open arms – much like the books they house.

Disney ruined relationship prospects for me, or rather, they raised the bar of my expectations with ‘Beauty and the Beast’. In the middle of the movie The Beast gives Belle a library. HE GIVES HER A LIBRARY. My seven-year old self couldn’t understand why she didn’t propose to him on the spot. If a person gives you a library, you marry them. I still stand by that ridiculous piece of logic today and if I had been Belle the situation would have gone differently:

“Marry me?”

“But I’m a monstrous beast!”

“Honey, you just gave me a library, your excuse is invalid. Now go see if the candelabra knows someone who will marry us.”

Clearly I should just go to rural France and find myself a cursed prince to love so I can get my own library.

I’m sure you could tell but this still needs saying: I love libraries. It’s an unwavering and fierce love, the kind that never truly fades away. I hope that everyone reading this visits their library today because they deserve more love than they are getting. If you’re open-hearted and love your library it will love you back a thousand times stronger.

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17 thoughts on “Let’s talk about libraries.

  1. Love this post! I hadn’t realised the lbrary thing in Beauty and the Beast, since it’s so long ago that i watched it! I will have to watch it just to see that scene! I agree though, someone give me a library and i’m yours forever! 😀

  2. I always dreamed of having a library like Belle’s!
    The library in my old town has re-christened itself ‘The Discovery Centre’; an apt title for a library, methinks!

    • That’s a perfect title for a library! Especially since most libraries tend to host a variety of different events and groups.

      I also dreamed of having a library like Belle’s and I still do to this day. I just need to find the right Prince despite the likelihood of finding one being slim to none.

  3. Wow. Now I feel guilty for not being able to visit my university’s library since my graduation last May. But really, the library is another universe for me. With the smell, the desks, the varnish of tables, some students sleeping (I know, the nerve!), some reviewing…During finals week, our library turns into a marketplace. Gah~ I miss it so much.

    • University libraries are fantastic! They are also huge and never ending, which is awesome and at the same time intimidating. I am also sad to say that I was one of those students who were asleep at the desks – granted, it only happened once and I was running on two hours of sleep. Hopefully I can be forgiven? 🙂

  4. Ah – the quiet of the Library. I spent a fair bit of my primary school days hiding in the library, and even managed to get extra library duties to avoid sport! There is something to be said for being the teachers pet when the teacher is the librarian. She even let me put that sticky clear plastic on the books – a rare privilege. 🙂
    Sometimes you get that atmosphere in big art galleries too.

    • Libraries are great hiding spots and being the librarian’s pet while in school is definitely a bonus! 🙂

      I can honestly say that I’ve never been to any big art galleries, so I can’t personally compare the atmospheres, but I’m willing to take your word for it! ♥

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