I’m writing this blog post from the public library.
Remember that place? The place we all used to frequent before the advent of the Kindle, the iPad, and the Nook?
I’m surrounded by real books. Hardcover books, paperback books, magazines, and even DVDs. The librarians are happily helping customers find literary treasures. Patrons are speaking in hushed tones that remind me of a time long passed. The library is the one place left in society where you can actually take a minute, have a seat, grab a real book, and enjoy the silence.
I was immediately overcome with nostalgia as soon as I entered this building and filled out the form for my first library card here. I could see books, and I could smell the paper and ink. That scent immediately took me back to when borrowing books from a library was like spending a few precious minutes or hours on a successful hunt. I remember my arms would ache from carrying a heavy load filled with characters and stories I had yet to meet. I remember the shelves of authors as I entered the rows. I remember seeing the faces of children as they sat and read books on their own. I remember the excitement of placing a popular title on hold and anticipating the time when I would get that book all to myself to enjoy.
So many wonderful memories.
Yes, I have a Kindle. Yes, I use it. But, you know what? No small piece of electronic gadgetry will completely replace my passionate love affair with actual BOOKS. I still feel that sense of victory when I emerge from the library with a stack of books that I can enjoy over the course of the next few weeks. I still look around when I walk between the rows, taking in the sights, scents, and sounds of the library, and feel a sense of amazement that even if I read one book per day for the rest of my lifetime, I would still not even make a dent.
The public library is a place that allows us to borrow a dream, borrow an idea, borrow an alternate world, if even for a short time. We get to hold it, savor it, feel it, turn its pages, make it our own, and when we are finished, we allow others the same privilege.
Enjoy a good book today. A real book. I’m doing exactly the same.