I love the library. Any library. All libraries.
I think I was the only person at college who took novels out of the library and read for fun. And just in case our fancy academic library didn’t have what I wanted, I also had a library card at the local Ilsley Public Library (they also had DVD rentals for $1!).
These days I visit Harvard’s libraries weekly, getting all the time I can in the stacks before they take back my ID, and my library access, on my last day of work (which is only 3 weeks away!). I’ve already started browsing MIT’s libraries online and have warned Tyler that he’ll be making many book runs for me come September. I cannot go to sleep at night without a bit of reading first, so someone’s going to have to keep me in books!
This nerdery has deep-seated roots.
As a child, I won the Pizza Hut reading contest at my elementary school and received a whole stack of vouchers for free personal pan pizzas, plus a weird plastic owl clock that was supposed to help me learn to tell time. I think I gave it to my sister.
I also won the summer reading contest at my local library every year. Actually, it probably wasn’t really a contest, but I did get some certificates of achievement and cake at the end-of-summer parties!
Some of my favorite childhood memories are at the library. In elementary and middle school, I walked to the Montana Branch Library of the Santa Monica library system every Tuesday and Thursday after school and stayed for a few hours. This eventually turned into a disaster when too many girls started accompanying me, and then boys started following us, and we turned into a library peace-and-quiet nightmare.
Basically, I’m geektastic. I think we’ve established that.
So, when one of my very best friends came to visit me in Boston recently, where did we go? The Boston Public Library!
When I first moved to Boston, I headed straight for the library in Copley Square, excited to see its beautiful Sargent murals, famed statues, and general amazingness. Of course, I entered the building on the wrong side and was confronted with the hideous ’60s wing of concrete and bad carpet. I never found the historic section of the library on that first visit, and for the next year or so I silently scoffed when anyone remarked how gorgeous the main library was downtown; I had seen it, and it was ugly! But oh how wrong I was …
Since then I have rediscovered the Copley branch of BPL, entered on the correct street, and it is lovely, of course.
On this most recent visit with Zoë, I was quite taken with the lions:
What is it with lions and libraries? The New York Public Library lions are famous, but Boston’s got them, too (just not out front):
Boston’s lions are on either side of the main staircase, lording over all who ascend into the hallowed rooms of learning above:
Maybe I just love lions because I love cats; that would make sense. But love them I do, and I love that they show up in libraries! Cats and books; that’s all I need.
We enjoyed an afternoon at the library, had a quick visit to Trinity Church, and then did headstands in the Public Garden:
What are you reading this summer?