Wednesday, 20 October 2010

ON BOOKS AND LIBRARIES (AGAIN...)


“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” - Anna Quindlen

I love books, as you may know if you are a regular reader of this blog. It goes without saying that I love reading, yes, but I also love the physical, printed, paper-based book as opposed to the electronic book. There is something wonderful about holding a book and leafing through the pages, feeling the texture of the paper against one’s skin, smelling that wonderful odour compounded of ink, paper and in many cases, of age (aren’t the best books old ones?). A happy room is a room full of books and I am glad to say that most rooms in our house are happy rooms.

About ten years ago we extended our house so that all of our books would fit and we ensured there was space to spare too! Needless to say that ten years afterwards we have run out of space for our books, again. It is a constant battle to find a little bit more room to fit another bookcase, put a shelf for a few more books. We have tried stopping buying books, but it is impossible! We have also tried to do a cull, but it ended up as an extended reading session, each of us surrounded by open books and showing each other the treasures we found. We cannot extend any more so some solution has to be found and it has to be found quickly!

Today I had a meeting in the City and on my way back I popped into the State Library of Victoria (illustrated above). This is one of my favourite haunts in the City and whenever I can I duck in, even if it just for a few minutes. There is always something going on in there, special exhibitions, books displays, cultural events, art exhibitions, but also of course the books themselves! The great Dome Reading Room is a magnificent temple of knowledge and sitting in the midst of it, seeing all of the galleries of books around, one feels warm, content and secure. And the joy of having all those billions of printed words just screaming out to be read!

One of the things that is advertised in the library is a donation program. One may donate worthy tomes to the State Library, which I guess is a fate that all good books in private home libraries aspire to. We may consider this option when the situation at home gets insupportable. The books in the State Library belong to all of us and I can go and access them whenever I like. It’s just that I want my books at hand, near me, in my house, within reach!

library |ˈlīˌbrerē; -brərē| noun ( pl. -braries)
A building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or refer to: A school library | [as adj. ] A library book.
• A collection of books and periodicals held in such a building or room: The Institute houses an outstanding library of 35,000 volumes on the fine arts.
• A collection of films, recorded music, genetic material, etc., organized systematically and kept for research or borrowing: A record library.
• A series of books, recordings, etc, issued by the same company and similar in appearance.
• A room in a private house where books are kept.
• (Also software library) Computing a collection of programs and software packages made generally available, often loaded and stored on disk for immediate use.
ORIGIN late Middle English: Via Old French from Latin libraria ‘bookshop,’ feminine (used as a noun) of librarius ‘relating to books,’ from liber, libr- ‘book.’

3 comments:

  1. The Moon
    shines
    on a cat

    Meow

    As a native Swede, I am particularly proud of my love poetry suite Sonnets for Katie.

    My Poems

    My wallpaper art Babes!

    Sexuality introduces Death to Being; and indeed Life simultaneously. This is the profound Myth of the Eden. The work of the Serpent. Bringing us out of "blessed" Standstill. So, in contrast to the mindless pietism of vulgar Christianity, my personal "Christo-Satanism" should be given serious thought by the Enlightened Few, the Pneumatics, the 1% Outlaws. The Light Bringer must be rehabilitated, beacause if not, the All of it simply doesn't make sense: true Catholicism is necessarily Meta Catholicism.

    My philosophy

    Arthur Rimbaud, Max Jacob, Saint-John Perse, René Char, Henri Michaux, Roger Kowalski, Peter Ingestad...

    LE FRUIT DU CIEL

    Un orage nocturne illmuna maintenant l'Amazonie, franchis les Andes, envoya des jeux de cartes gigantesques et frappantes en bas à la Pampa –

    Puis: petit déjeuner à melon; café fumant!

    À la bague du cigare tu lis, étonné: GÉOGRAPHIE.

    My prosepoetry in French:

    Poétudes

    Schwarzes Birne!
    Aufforderung zur Erotik.

    My poetry in German:

    Fremde Gedichte


    Casualidad sopla la sangre
    de alguno señor desconocido
    durante los pocos restantes
    momentos del resplandor de faroles

    que se vislumbran tras el follaje
    flameando de las obsesiónes
    igual efimero como gotas
    del cinzano de la soledad –

    En aquel tiempo me levanta
    dentro uno incidente avejentado
    que en seguida palidece
    al camouflaje de abstraccion;

    chica, nadie conoce que tus grisos
    ojos significan aún; con todo
    el sueño que hube evacuado
    tu escudriñas nuevamente.

    Mi poesía aproximadamente española

    And: reciprocity: for mutual benefit, you will do me a favor promoting your own blog on mine!

    The best way to do it is lining up as a Follower, since then your icon will advertise you indefinitely, and I will follow you in return. Let's forge a mighty alliance of synergy and common interest.

    Yours,

    - Peter Ingestad, Sweden

    ReplyDelete
  2. My daughter works at our Library, sometimes I help with the exhibits!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know what you mean about holding a physical book rather than an electronic one, Nicholas. I was gifted a Kindle, but I always prefer a real book over that!

    ReplyDelete