This is the first time this semester I've gone among the books in the library. I forget with every absence from this sacred place, how much I adore libraries. It's more than just books. There is something that also, to further the cliché , moves me when I'm surrounded by dusty tomes resting on shelves from floor to ceiling. I can hear the shoes slapping, pages scraping, pens scratching, chairs creaking and tenants whispering, but it is still silent, overwhelmingly silent. Reverently silent. My own body responds the hallowed ground. I breathe more slowly, more deeply, more quietly. Every step I take is measured and cautious, so as to not disturb what hundreds of thousands of authors have created for my special use and appreciation.
Have you ever thought about that? Every book in a library was written for you. I think if books had the run of the place they would jump off shelves and into laps, admonishing non-readers for their incredibly foolish oversight for not reading "The Masks of Keats" (or whatever it may be) sooner. Books are powerful, make no mistake. I can walk straight through a library without being much affected but the moment I pause and take a closer look, I'm in trouble. Touching a faded spine or sometimes just being sandwiched between two rows chalk full of books gets me. The very essence of the pages presses itself onto me. I feel it on the back of my neck, the inside of my elbows, and in that narrow space on the top of your foot, where your shoe doesn't quite touch. The only option left is to pick up a book and set up camp in the middle of the aisle, because doing anything less at this point, is a travesty.