Libraries are wonderful places. They’re quiet, they’re peaceful, and they’ve got chock-loads of books. Lovely, interesting, amazing books. (Yeah yeah, I’m a read-a-holic, how’d you guess?? :P)
My school library was pathetic. As in…sad. Just plain sad. The only times we ever visited it, were during our weekly library periods, when the whole class would create a huge stampede, trying to find a good book to read (there were hardly any in our school’s collection). The slower ones would get stuck with huge classics and just about manage to read the introduction before the bell would go off, signaling the end of class. Everyone would trudge out slowly – some disgruntled that they weren’t able to get to the interesting part of their book, but most just plain relieved that class was over and they could stop pretending that they were actually interested in reading. Next week : same thing. Except, we’d all end up getting different books than the ones we got the previous week. I never understood why we never had some sort of system to record what books we’d taken, so we could continue reading the same thing over consequent weeks…it just didn’t work that way. Nobody ever dared to do something else in those classes either – our formidable hawk of a teacher made sure we never brought text books or homework into the library. And the routine continued week after week after week.
(I enjoyed these library sessions for the sole reason that at that time, I was a complete book-nerd, who’d read anything and everything, even if it meant giving up the book halfway through. Yeah, I know. Weird. So, these library sessions never bothered me.)
Outside my school, there was another library. A public one, one that needed membership cards and things like that. And out here, it was a completely different story. The minute school let out, half the class would rush over to the library to get something to read. Some would sit right there, in a teeny tiny corner of the already crowded library and read something; others would take books home. For almost 3 whole years, I used that library with zeal. I read everything I could get my hands on.
Then Harry Potter came and another kind of madness ensued. I read the first four HP books from that library; I even remember being astonished at being asked to pay 40 rupees to read ‘The Goblet of Fire’ (inspite of having a membership) because the book was so huge!! I even kept the whole thing a secret from my mum because at that time, it seemed like a huge amount!! I told her later, though…but I can’t really remember her reaction now!! 😛
I spent many a happy day at that library with my friends. I spent so much time after school there that my automan (the driver of the auto that took me home from school) started to come there every time he wasn’t able to find me in school. The librarian knew me by name, knew my automan by sight and always laughed whenever I begged my automan to give me more time to choose a book to take home. Those were the days.
3 years later. Today, I went to my University Library. One class ended at 12, another was supposed to begin at 4; so instead of coming back to our rooms where we were sure to fall asleep, Macho Girl and I decided to spend the day doing something constructive at the library.
All I’m saying is that the library authorities should know better than to put extremely comfortable chairs in corners of the library no one’s ever bound to see you in. And we should’ve known better than to go sit there after a nice lunch, and try and read Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Recipe for disaster. Well, recipe for a sound nap, at least. MG and I took turns napping on those comfy comfy chairs, and Persuasion remains unread to date. We really should’ve known better.
Ah, well. It wasn’t a complete waste. One hour of peaceful, undisturbed sleep (something I’ve been wanting now for a looong time) and fond memories about times long gone and friends of yore.
Oh yeah. It’s all good. 🙂