I’ve always loved books. I grew up having books read by my parents at night since I was a kid; and luckily enough, I had two younger sisters who made it possible for me to hang on a little longer to the bedtime stories. On Wednesday mornings, my mom would take us to the library for the kids reading session, and although I don’t remember much of it, I remember loving it. When I was about 8 or 9, however, my mom decided it was time for me to read on my own. She bought me the first book of the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (which I just learnt is a pen name… I often wondered how a name could sound so cool) and offered to read the first few chapters with me – yes, I was very reluctant to give up on this moment of the day.
This was the turning point of my love for books. I had just moved to a new room on my own, had a loft bed where I could withdraw to my bubble and pretend the world under and around didn’t exist, where my imagination had no limits. When I buried myself into the lines of this series of books, I left the Earth; I left my room; suddenly, I was in that old frightening house where the Baudelaire kids lived, I felt how they felt, I could relate to them. This is when books started to be my escape from the Real; and still now, I immerse myself into a fantasy-like story when I’ve had enough of reality.
Suppressed sounds, paper pages turning, muted steps, low voices – library atmospheres are among my favorites on the planet. Bookshops go hand in hand with that and I find it very hard to spot anything else when there is one a few meters away from where I stand, and even harder to force myself to leave the place empty-handed (obviously, whether I walk in is not remotely a matter I have to decide upon).
A few months ago, I wrote about the Wanaka library and how I unexpectedly ended up staying for a few hours instead of hitting the road (you can read the article here). Going back to a routine-y life, it also meant going back to the world of daily studying and library visiting – and although it happened to be quite challenging in the beginning, the part that involved my being in libraries on a daily basis has delighted me. Today, as I finally entered the Black Diamond library here in Copenhagen, my reaction was instant: I felt blessed. I was told the inside of it was surprisingly very old since the outside of the building looks very modern – black and diamond-shaped, as its name suggests, covered in gigantic glass windows, located by København havnen, the water in between the inner city and Christianshavn.
This is the Black Diamond library from the other bank and inside. (source)
My first thought was to wonder why I hadn’t been there before. It took me three months to finally visit the Harry-Potter-like royal library. I was in the book; or I could also have been at one of the UK’s old university libraries – all in all, something I never thought would be available to me on a daily basis. I am amazed at the wooden shelves, the wooden tables, the publishing dates written on the books closest to me (1894!!!), the green lantern-like lamps above the wooden desks part that separate two people facing each other.
What is it with libraries? Is it just me? I am always so impressed by them; if I had more times on my hands, I would go through all the books on the shelves and go through their pages; wonder how long it took to gather these words together; wonder who was responsible for the publication, the editing; wonder who got the idea and how, when, where.
If I could, I would move to live in a library. That’s right, I’d never get bored; stories could be the product of one’s imagination or factual, I’d learn new things, new words, anything, every day; yes, really, that sounds like a good idea, I would like to move to a library.