Why Visit A Library?
There were two libraries within walking distance of me when I was growing up in North London. One was in East Finchley the other in Church End – I think of both of them with great fondness but it’s the one in East Finchley I miss. It seemed old, established, and the bookshelves were dark and worn and the entire building had the smell of slightly dry paper – it was treasure to me when I was 10. In fact it was built in 1938, making it a library youngster both in England and America, but it seemed ancient to my new eyes and it was serenely quiet. Somewhere for me to wonder at the full collection of Alistair MacLean novels (try them – a Scottish master of adventures and thrillers – The Guns of Navarone and Ice Station Zebra are excellent) and get very bogged down at the age of 10 in Jane Austen. As a public library East Finchley charged for the late return of a book – I think you could take three books for two weeks – and the charge was 2 English pence for each late book, which was about 3 cents, and I clearly remember once having to search my bedroom for pennies as I had several books which were many weeks late. I spent countless hours wandering among the bookcases, utterly enthralled by the beauty of the book covers and the strange words and the new worlds that were opening up. And as Shakespeare said, there’s the rub. The new worlds – the wonderful new worlds.
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The Little Free Library Blog - by James Smith