Sunday, October 3, 2010

The British Library

Today I am at the British Library.  As I type, I am sitting in an atrium, the center of which is filled with four stories of books.  These are not the books any of us (apart from bjet perhaps) have on our shelves at home.  They are leather bound (red, green, brown, white, black) with gold writing, each sporting a delicate ribbon to hold your place while you fetch your next cup of tea.  This explains the quote outside the front gates: "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me" C.S. Lewis.  Within the first minutes of being here I had tears in my eyes (and that's without even being able to go into the stacks).  This place exudes freedom and enlightenment.  It makes you know you that anyone can sit down, read a book, and find themselves more connected to the world, more aware of the beautiful simplicity and astounding complexity of it all.  The power of the written word is undeniable and to be surrounded by such a wealth of knowledge is exhilarating and overwhelming.  I love the way my brain feels when I read a book that alters my reality.  It's not always the same sensation; sometimes its a loud click that reverberates through my body giving me goosebumps, sometimes it a gentle shift as the world I know rotates slightly to align with the new truths I discovered.  No matter how it occurs, this feeling is inevitably rewarding and incredibly addictive.  I feel lucky to have such a haven half an hour from my door.