The library of my dreams
I love being surrounded by books. My earliest memories are of sitting cross legged on the wooden floor of our bungalow-on-stilts in Manas Wildlife Sanctuary and rummaging through my parents’ book shelves. I remember devouring everything that came my way, so much so that Ma had to shift her novels that she deemed unsuitable for a five year old to the upper compartments, out of my reach. Later, when we shifted to our granny’s house for schooling, I realized that there was an amazing array of books waiting for me. Apparently, in their youth, Ma and her older siblings had pooled together their vast book collections and formed a library called ‘Friends Library’ with proper seals and all. By the time I came along, the number of books had dwindled to maybe just half of its original size. But it still appeared to be a wonderland to me.
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My cousin, who used to be quite possessive about her books, later told me that I had become quite a terror since I would leave her bookshelf in dire straits. In fact, she would rush to hide her precious books the moment she learnt that I would be coming over. Another cherished book memory is of losing myself in the annual Guwahati Book Fair. I remember Deta giving me a free hand, letting me buy any book I wanted to, and footing the bill without a murmur.
Although my school had a library, the first time I entered a real library was after my 10th exams. I enrolled myself into the prestigious District Library of Guwahati and that summer was one of the best days of my life. Ma would like to remember that period as the time when I did absolutely nothing at home and went out nowhere.
I have several notions of an ideal library – the library of my dreams. Would you like to hear them?
1. A library filled with sunlight and candles: By day, my library would be a cozy sunlit nook, the floors strewn with books. By night, it would be a wonderland, lit by candles. By day, I would be reading my books lying on the cold floor, the light streaming through large French windows. By night, I would read sitting at a wooden table, a candle glowing bright with a yellow halo. And by both day and night, I would want a bowl of food and a cup of hot chocolate near me. Bliss!
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2. A library with no rules, tabs, whatsoevers: There would be no catalogues, either. No separate sections laid out. Comics jostling with classics, thrillers with books of birds. Everything haphazard. And in that I shall revel. Searching for a book and stumbling upon another. Running my finger through various tomes and stopping on a random cover. Revel in the mysterious world of books, I shall.
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3. Magic in the library: I want some magic in my library. Won’t it be fun if all the characters from the books came alive at the stroke of midnight? Something like the movie ‘Night at the museum’. Or like the stories of Enid Blyton where the toys chatted away while the household slept. I would tip-toe up to the library and peek through a crack on the door. Oh what fun would it be to see Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Miss Marple at loggerheads over the solution to a mystery!
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My imagination runs amok at the mere mention of books and libraries. Perhaps I should stop here before it reaches another level altogether. Now, tell me about your dream library. I am all ears.
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(The post is written in response to Indispire's 'What will your dream library look like #DreamLibrary')