I like libraries. They are silent shrines to literature and knowledge. There’s a special reverence that takes hold when you enter one. As soon as you step in the door your demeanor changes. You become more solemn, serious, and of course quiet. It’s a lot like going to church.
I’m writing this in the library now, plopped in a comfortable chair near the magazine section. It’s surprisingly busy for the middle of a work week. There’s a circular opening in the floor and ceiling in my library. You can gaze into the floor below and the floor above.
The floor below has the kid’s section. A girl lays on the floor belly down, propped on her elbows- lost in a book. She’s here, but not really. The words on the page have put her mind somewhere else entirely. She’s on an adventure somewhere. The ultimate virtual reality.
The floor above me contains the non-fiction and research sections. When I head up their later there’s no one laying on the floor. A few people are browsing the genealogy resources and a man with reading glasses perched half-way down his nose is seated at a table, writing notes next to a huge stack of books. I wonder what he’s up to.
Everyone on every floor is FOCUSED. That’s what all the quiet is for of course, to help us focus. We’re all meditating in our own way. Libraries are our secular temples.
The greatest library in the world, the ancient library at Alexandria Egypt, continued all the knowledge of the world within its walls. In a fit of violence it was torn down, it’s books burned, and much of its knowledge lost forever. It took humanity more than a thousand years to catch up again. Libraries are important.
If you haven’t been to the library in a while, I encourage you to go.
Learn something. Have a great adventure. But please, do it quietly.