You know, I like it here; here being the newly renovated library. I didn’t at first. At first I thought it was a sterile and unwelcoming place, a cross between Ikea and an airport. The interior is all gleaming chrome and glass and light; lustrous oak tables and starkly modern chairs and sleek black computers. There’s even a café, isn’t that just artsy?
The library has up and gone high-tech. The changes took some getting used to, adjustments needed to be made. But now I don’t miss the good, old card catalogue. I don’t even miss the warm, cozy carrels. I don’t miss the whirring, squeaking microfilm machines. Not as much, anyway, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
I mean, the important things at the library have stayed the same. I’m still surrounded on all sides by knowledge and books. And each time I visit I find something exciting or unexpected. Just last month, I discovered Jonah Lehrer and Daniel Kahneman, my new favorite authors. They’re a couple of cognitive science guys, those two: one’s a neuroscientist, the other is a psychologist, but they’re both geniuses.
Then last week, I stumbled across The Code of the Woosters, the P.G. Wodehouse masterpiece. For my money, Wodehouse is the most brilliant, and unheralded, writer ever to pick up a pencil. But keep a Kleenex on hand, he’s capable of making you snort through your nose.
What I love most about the library, though, is that it’s six blocks from my refrigerator. Six blocks and three feet from my cookie jar. I can’t reach. And if I can’t reach, I can’t stuff my face. And if I can’t stuff my face, well, I won’t keep gaining weight like I’m inflatable, something I’ve been doing lately.
So, until further notice, I’ll be at the library if you need me.
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