The Libraries of Freedom
Today a colleague of mine told me about the book she’s reading. More surprising than the book itself was the fact that it was a library book. I honestly hadn’t seen one in years.
The library was a place I used to frequent at university, college or school. I used to spend hours trawling through the library catalogue looking for obscure and interesting reads. Or going through CDs and video tapes. It was very relaxing and eye-opening. Almost like freedom and seems a long, long time ago but the plastic cover of this book and the date stamped on the first page brought back something akin to emotion. The good old days. That old scam.
You see in those days I was desperate to educate myself because the education system wasn’t really satisfactory for me. The lectures and modules were too rigid, the syllabuses much too robotic. The classics weren’t classic enough.
Now, I’m desperate for rest. I get my reading matter at lunch, browsing rapidly through charity shop shelves. Buy it. Or don’t. The decision is timed.
I read in the same manner, worried about time – is it too late?
To be fair, my local library isn’t the best. I probably own more interesting books than they. By interesting I mean books by Bukowski, Crews, Selby Jr., Fante, Hemingway, you know, good books. And I can’t really order a book. When would I have time to pick it up? Can’t even eat my lunch in there. But one day, perhaps, I will live closer to a more majestic library that I can explore and revel in its delicacies. The future. That old scam.
Tags: bt, Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, Harry Crews, Hubert Selby Jr, John Fante, libraries