I’ve read about some libraries that store all their books far away, and books have to requested and can take a few days to arrive. But this takes away that pleasure of browsing and the facility to search.
Sometimes all you want is a reference, or a line. You’re not quite sure where to find it, but you know the kind of book it’ll been in. So you go to that section of the library and flick through the books until you find what you need – and discover a lot more on the way. How can you request a book, and wait for it to arrive, if you’re not sure what book you even need?
And then there’s browsing for pleasure. I’ve discovered so many authors that I just found by wandering around the library and seeing what caught my eye. We don’t always know what we want when we go in, we know we fancy a crime or a romance, but we’ve read all our favourites. So we go in and walk around until a cover or a title catches our eye. (And this, incidentally, is why we have cover designs. If we don’t choose books this way, why wouldn’t all books have a plain paper cover?). Browsing the shelves in a library is my favourite way to find new books.
I hope they bring the books back. Because if they don’t, they are not a library. They are just book storage, and there is a world of difference between the two.
Sent from my iPad