A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
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.’
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.