Okay, so my husband teases me about my love affair with libraries. Recently I lost my wallet (I’ll probably find it in four months time stashed in the rice cooker, care of my two year old) and needed to replace my library card. He pondered whether I even needed a card, given my regular patronage, and if they had a frequent shopper arrangement and could upgrade me to gold-class membership. Ha ha, very funny. So I go to the library many times a week. So I visit the public library when I am in a foreign city. So I get all gooey and full of rapture and do weird things like clasp my hands together and sigh at the sight of hundreds of books all together…. Tell me – is that so strange?
I felt vindicated this week when my friend sent me a link to this article about the 25 Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the World, posted on Flavorwire.com. I told him – See, there are lots of other people who love libraries too. He didn’t seem too convinced but gave me a sweet look that seemed to say ‘I love you, you gorgeous weirdo’. Bless him.
Flicking through the luscious photographs of all the beautiful libraries I am now dying to visit them all in person. The research library in Denmark, the surprising interior of the LA library, the National library I have never been to in Paris (how could I not have been there already? Mon Dieu!). It led me to wonder what will happen to these spaces if digital books become the norm. How they might change and whether they can all remain. The thought almost stopped my beating heart. Have you considered this? What might happen to the physical space of a library when books are becoming less and less physical? What are your thoughts? Fears? As if reading my mind another friend posted this article on her facebook page about the importance of libraries and a new book dedicated to the topic.
As for the toddler who has probably hidden my card and wallet in a “safe place”, I took her to our local library just this morning. She sat and read to the teddy bears in the children’s section and then helped me pick out books to borrow. She flicked through the pages of the latest “Charlie and Lola” in the stroller as we walked home and then selected the three books she would like read to her before nap-time. Yup, she’s showing all the signs of becoming a library nerd already…..just like her Mama 🙂