The best things about libraries has always been the way they smell. I don'’t think there is anything in the world that smells better than read, dusty, old books.
Libraries have always intimidated me ever since childhood. I think this is mainly due to the fact that my old school library was an old chapel converted into a library. Therefore it always seemed a little daunting to me, until I eventually got used to it. It was a humongous, dark room with little sunlight, stain glass windows and no electric lights (at least during the day). If you entered the library in the afternoon, you would get temporarily blinded because it used to be so dark inside.
It was a beautiful room with stone floors that kept the temperature inside cool even in hot and humid
Most of the other people in school ever read anything apart from old Enid Blyton books from the library that I had already grown beyond when I started borrowing books from there. So after much begging on my part, and deliberation my teacher's part, she gave me (and Eris, of course) a free reign to go through all the locked cupboards that were full of books no one had ever bothered to look at for decades and I'm sure no one after me will probably bother with them for a few more decades. I discovered some of my favourite books hidden among those shelves. I would not have read the whole Narnia series if Eris had not discovered it by mistake while looking for Trixie Belden books in those shelves.
My high school library, on the other hand, was much more modern and full of well known books. It didn't have any rare or hidden or dusty books as a matter of fact. It also had an electronic check out system (with the kind of machines you have in supermarkets) and a whole load of computers that we were supposed to use for research purposes. Most people actually
used these computers for playing flash games because the library computers were not supervised unlike the school computers by our computer teacher. Most of the times the library was used either as a 'hang out'’ place by people on rainy days or as a last minute 'homework copying' place. I had a young, sweet, library teacher who was also my English teacher for my first two years in high school. I always knew that something was missing from that library, until I realized that it was the dark, ominous atmosphere and written check out library cards that I missed. Until that moment I had never realized how much I loved my archaic, middle school library that I grew up in.
Right now all I have an access to is a humongous University library where I have to look up all the books I want via an online catalogue. No more going through library shelves or reading book jackets. Sometimes, just sometimes I detest technology.
PS: On a completely unrelated note, today is also Pan's birthday. She feels too old to be true!