There is no place where I feel quite as comfortable as a library. Many a long day have been spent in the company of musty and colorful tomes of history, lore, legend and hilarity. I love books. Love them. The tactile experience of a book is as much a part of me as my soul. There is no anticipation and excitement that equals the banquet of knowledge that you encounter in a library. It’s all there for you, at your fingertips.
Make no mistake, I am not some Luddite who disdains technology. I like the fact that almost all the knowledge of the world are transmittable across the world via the internet, and believe it is one of the true intellectual revolutions of my lifetime. However, today I acquired a library card for the first time in many years, and it took me back to a place of intense enjoyment, comfort and pleasure. There is no smell, or sensation, that equals the atmosphere of a library. It’s not an electricity, as that would run counter to the placidity of the place. No, it is more like a well worn pair of shoes, or an old coat. It is familiar in a way that can only be fully appreciated by being away from it for a time.
My spirit, my love for learning, was renewed by just walking by and browsing through the reams of bound paper neatly cataloged on their shelves. The catalog system has changed since my halcyon childhood days (Dewey Decimal reigned supreme, then), but it is still remarkably easy to find what inspires you. Storehouses of knowledge, that is what they truly are to me. And I adore knowledge. Truly, madly, deeply.
All thanks to a library card.