You’re also finding out something as you read vitally important for making your way in the world. And it’s this:
The world doesn’t have to be like this. Things can be different.
—Neil Gaiman | from “Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming" | The Guardian | October 15, 2013 (via evoketheforms)
"When looking at books on the shelves and in the stacks, some of us sense something more—the meaning that remains beyond the material, the actuality that exists before the accommodation, the presence that permeates certain books that we peruse. By way of affirmation or negation, of what is said, unsaid, or unsayable, the library refers to realities that are not manifested in it.
Augustine described time as being present to us in three ways: the presence of past is experienced through memory; the presence of the present is experienced through perception; the presence of the future is experienced through expectation. My library—which sustains and shapes my memory, enhances my perceptions of the present, and informs my expectations—enables me to have a richer experience of temporality. And what is true for an individual library is true for the library of a community. Like books, libraries are both means and metaphors for knowledge: they reveal and represent to us what was, what is, and what is to come.”
—Michael Paulus, “Defending My Library”
Photo: Benjamin D. Esham, “The library in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights building at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, United States.” Attribution: CC BY-SA 3.0.
There’s a book called
‘A Dictionary of Angels’.
No one has opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did,
The covers creaked, the pages
Crumbled. There I discovered
That angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies.
The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.
Now the sun is shining
Through the tall windows.
The library is a quiet place.
Angels and gods huddled
In dark unopened books.
The great secret lies
On some shelf Miss Jones
Passes every day on her rounds.
She’s very tall, so she keeps
Her head tipped as if listening.
The books are whispering.
I hear nothing, but she does.