The library is the most beautiful place in the world. I’ve always wondered why children my age don’t like going, there’s always so much to see and know. It’s a place to stop and rest from all the roughness of the world; it is a labyrinth for the great thinker, who at any time can sit and rest and camp for the night, never knowing what turn to take tomorrow. We all need this escape from the rest of the world, and simply into our own mind.
There is simply no better way to find the entrance to that escape than by starting with others. There are so many people inside the library that you could simply sit and watch them, as long as you do it secretly so they don’t know. You can watch the people who read, with their noses buried in a book and their eyes scatter from left to right, left to right. They are in a whole other world; just wonder what world they are in by the gleeful expression on their faces! Then there is the librarian herself, who has visited the readers and imagines who they are, as well. Watch her, and be nice, and inquire about the globe sitting at her desk, which represents all the books that come in from across the world.
There are other things to do than people watching, of course. You can simply look—not read—at the millions upon millions of rows of books. You can come in at story time, where that nice librarian comes in and reads fairy tales to all the little boys and girls. Or, of course, you could simply lean back in your chair and think in this absolute quiet and peace, with no one to disturb you except yourself, and the occasional sound of a page turning from a reader. Close your eyes; don’t go to sleep, but think, and you’ll be surprised at yourself.
Then there are the famous books of the library. Yes, it is for this reason only that the structure exists. Language builds the library; but soon you learn that there is so much more! The beauty of language itself is what starts a library. Words are the very cement that you build on. It’s amazing—absolutely astounding—that something we use every day and take for granted can be so breathtaking, so moving it starts the story of the library. Yes, words are the cement, but the stories are the bricks. If you take away the story then what good was language, all its beauty included? The story that takes a man years of his life to write to make one flimsy little book also holds power. To think there are millions of men, each upon every shelf, some unknown and some famous, that each had his life poured onto a page that he cares for like a child. If only you could read it all, and gain all the knowledge and mistakes, then you would be the most intelligent person in the earth, and no one to grab hold of you!
The library is truly beautiful. With its entire people: the readers, the writers, and librarian, and even yourself; and with all its ways of thinking that your own brain can barely begin to understand, I love it. Its use of language and of stories, I love it. If everyone went, it would be so much better for our world. Yes, the library never ceases to astound me.