I have been part of the coffee shop culture for a long time. I have frequented them enough to be called a regular. Like many others, I don’t go there necessarily for the beverages, but to get work done. I sit there for an hour or so, and write, periodically sipping on my beverage. Coffee shops are fine, but it is easy to get distracted there. Music, people going in and out, sometimes people chatting fairly loudly..
There’s nothing wrong with any of that, really. I, personally, get distracted by all of that. It doesn’t help either that these coffee shops are really tiny at times. It’s not easy to escape the hullabaloo.
I function quite well when it’s quiet around me, especially when I am required to read and comprehend something.
So, why do I love libraries?
Libraries are the exact opposite. Their gargantuan sizes spoil me – what floor should I go to today? Where should I sit? A desk or a couch? By the giant windows that would let me look at the hustle and bustle of the city but not hear any of it? Or by the exhibition room that shows art work by local artists? Just entering a library is an activity in itself because I have to make all these exciting decisions as I approach the main floor. Having procured a seat, I can’t help but notice how quiet everything around me is. Everyone maintains the sanctity of the library, and avoids unnecessary chatter. For me, that is a great start to my reading and writing. I can now spend hours going through my material without getting distracted by movement of people. There’s no one playing chess around me either.
The sizes of libraries always fascinate me. Extremely high ceilings, huge walls, open spaces, and yet, there are so many shelves of books around me. In the middle, there are people working on computers – filling up application forms, watching YouTube videos, going through semi-nude photos – there is so much a library accommodates! It doesn’t just hold furniture and books but also gives space to people to accomplish what they had in mind when they entered the library.
Every library is an architectural marvel. The one I go to, Central Library in Downtown Minneapolis, is a beauty made of glass and steel. Everything is clean and transparent, and the structure of the building is so gorgeous that it makes me stare at it in awe every time I approach it. It is always nice to work in a building you admire.
Libraries give me the energy to accomplish my goals. Sometimes, it almost feels like it looks after me – there is a subtle, positive energy I feel inside a library. The library really wants me to succeed. I don’t feel that energy in a coffee shop.
Our cities have provided us with a very important asset. Many of us overlook it, and don’t give it much importance. I, cherish our libraries. They are not only a tremendous source of knowledge for me, but they give me a space to grow and evolve. They welcome me, and make me feel comfortable.
That is why I love libraries.