There’s something I always found peaceful about libraries, and maybe that’s why I chose to work at one. I like knowing that so many stories surround me, words of inspiration from so many years of deep thought. Before I read a book, I go through quite the process. I like to look at the front and back covers, read the little descriptions. I need to slowly flip through the pages and make sure they are of good quality, look at the text the words are printed in. Finally, I do what any crazy bibliophile does – I smell the book (but it’s true in saying that books have different scents depending on their pasts: some are musty, some smell like fresh ink, but they all tell a story). Books are one of my favorite things in the world, so naturally, I begin to swoon whenever we visit a library here in London.
Of the many we’ve seen so far, my top two now include the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and the library and study room at Kenwood House. In Oxford, the books have been there for hundreds of years, read and enjoyed by so many. The stories have touched and enlivened for longer than I can even imagine. But apart from the books, the library itself is unbelievable. The golden paint shines from the ceiling, and the magnificent windows allow for the brightest rays of sunlight to come through. In contrast, the Kenwood House library is painted a sky-blue color, with large plush furniture for relaxing. The books tower in shelves up to the ceiling with enormous ladders to reach them. While Kenwood has a more easygoing feel as opposed to academic Oxford, both places were accompanied by a certain aura of peace and elegance. In any public place, I make a beeline right for the place that sells books, and I can guarantee you’ll have a difficult time getting me to leave. I love books, and the enthralling feelings that accompany them – so to me, I couldn’t be anywhere happier. I can’t wait to see what else I will stumble upon in terms of literature here.