Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Stacked

One of the joys of living in town is that we can belong to the library now. I took Z-boy a couple of weeks ago, which was my first time in this library.

I went back today... by myself. I had the luxury of wandering around without a young child yanking at my arm. I had his reading list with me, so I picked up about 8 books for him, then, official business done, explored.

There is something about a library... it's quiet, but it's a living, breathing thing. Even if you couldn't see, you would know that the place is full of people, all quietly turning pages or slipping books off the shelf and back again as they ponder the possibilities. The thoughts are nearly visible as you walk around.

When I was very young - maybe 9 or 10 to around 12 or 13, my family used to "kid-swap" with some friends in Atlanta who had two kids near my and my brother John's age. For two weeks, David would come be a part of my family while I went to Atlanta to be "sisters" with Susan. There were various incarnations of this swap: Susan and me here; John and David there; John and David here; Susan and me there. I loved going to Atlanta though. Her mom worked in the reference stacks at Emory University and sometimes she took us along. It was very quiet, very dark - and had the peculiar smell of books and dust and metal shelving. One of the most beautiful smells in the world. I adored going to the stacks. You had the feeling that you could truly disappear into them and never come out... that years later they would find your mummy propped up in the corner holding a book.

Today's libraries are light and airy. There doesn't seem to be any dust. And people go there. It's a totally different feel from the dusty stacks of Emory, but they are STILL the portals to adventure and doors for your imagination to other worlds.

6 comments:

Alice in Wonderbread said...

I love libraries.

I shelved books for minimum wage for a semester at the university. I loved it when I had to go to the psych section. All these really dusty books from the turn of the century, and all inaccurate and totallly amusing...

Sayre said...

People who know me, know there are three kinds of stores that I could spend ALL DAY in: Bookstores/libraries, hardware/home improvement, and office supplies. I know libraries aren't stores, but other than the fact that you're not paying for the books, the action is the same.

I wonder if Aunt Ruth was working at Emory for minimum wage... she was definitely reshelving books (Susan and I helped).

Janet said...

Taking a trip to the library is truly exciting for me. I get so happy thinking I'm going to have new books to read and FOR FREE! Finding the time, however, is another issue entirely.

Thanks for checking out the renter's blog. Every little bit counts!:)

ablondeblogger said...

Hey Sayre!

I like the new look of your blog...especially the white background.

And I LOVE the library!! I need to get over there soon with my kids to turn in their reading logs for the summer reading program so they can get their prizes.

I'm always last-minute with that and the prizes that are left are usually crap, lol. But it's still fun!

Sayre said...

We didn't get the reading list until halfway through summer, so Z is a bit behind, but catching up fast. He does 3-4 books a day, so I'll have to go back sometime this weekend. Very into reading, as it prolongs his bedtime. He gets in at 8:30 and (since it's summer) I let him read until he falls asleep. Lately that's been around 10pm. Gonna have to stop that though - school starts in a week!!!!

Oh, The Joys said...

I like the new look!