I suppose I should write about warm wooden tables and dark interiors, walls lined with heavy shelves that stretch from floor to ceiling, cozy nooks to hide and read in, quiet, peace, the endless options for learning or for escaping into a fictitious world.
I do love all those things about libraries. These new modern libraries with shiny white walls, giant atriums, minimalist archictecture and bright Ikea-inspired decor — they don’t speak to me. They don’t make me want to stay and cozy up. They feel cold and sterile, and they are noisy. I want warmth and muffled sound from a library.
But that’s not really what I want to write about. Library means something different to me now. Library doesn’t mean a place I drive to so that I can browse and check out books. Library means the suite of books stored on my nook. It means lightweight, easy to hold, no-car-needed access to any literature I could ever want. It means instant gratification when I finish a book and don’t yet have another. It means nonfiction during the day and fiction at night, without having to carry more than one book. It means I can carry Lonesome Dove and Gone With the Wind, and Pillars of the Earth, and they weigh ounces instead of pounds. It means readable without having to turn a light on, so I can read in bed without keeping my husband up.
To me, library now means portable. Library means the collection of books I carry in my purse.