A library is essentially a trip to the past. All that we have learnt and seen and observed holds its records there. Want to truly understand mankind? Visit a library.
The burning of the library of Alexandria
In 48 BC, the library of Alexandria burnt by the invading army of Julius Caesar. Among all the savage tasks mankind has done, this was one on top. Even after a thousand years, the ‘killing’ of a library remains the greatest loss. Man is born to die but knowledge is forever. It is like a light – a light whose fuel is the sweat and perseverance of our ancestors.
Historians still grieve the loss of the library of Alexandria. A library is more than just a hall full of books and records. It is us expressed, in a different format. Fortunately, throughout not all libraries have had this fate. Most libraries and halls of knowledge have been preserved throughout time.
Why to visit a library?
Here are some reasons why libraries can be a wonderland.
#1 A library shows us the world. It is not possible for any one of us to experience the whole world. That is where a library comes in. It has kids story books that speak of dreams. Books on travel with colourful pictures take you to a trip to an unknown land. Want to learn something new? Library is here and even in the digital age, it is here to stay. It does not compete with Google but rather, complements it.
A big book spread with colourful pictures of exotic and weird animals is what the kid in us needs. Novels from the four corners of the world tell us many tales. Thousands and thousands of books define mankind.
” The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history. ”
~ Carl T. Rowan
#2 A library is not for everyone. Although we said that everyone must visit a library, the truth libraries is not for everyone. It is not for those who do not want to go deep. It is not for those who want to stay ignorant and fixed in his own opinion. It is not for those who cannot respect serenity and the joy of reading. It is best for these people to stay away. A library is more like an ‘ashram’ – a place where you go to soak into the knowledge. It is a different world in this world. As soon as you enter the this abode of books, the silence of the place overcomes the outer noise.
It is not a place to talk with people, but to listen to the words that the books speak.
” If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.”
~ Frank Zappa
#3 ‘Time travel’. When someone writes a book, he or she pours in that what goes within. He expresses the images that he has seen, the sounds and feelings that he feels. It is perspective in a way that still lives on. It will not be wrong to say that the author leaves a bit of himself in the book. Later when we read this, what we do is take a plunge into that person.
When we immerse in the detective tales of Sherlock Holmes, do we not experience what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle experienced? Do we not enter his mind? Do we not travel to a 19th century era and live through 221 B Baker Street? The scenes of a the then London come alive in our minds. Perhaps not in body, but time travel nonetheless.
” If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. ”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
#4 You know how great minds think. It is no wonder that all that great men have thought can be found in a library. In childhood, we have an ideal person, a man or woman who inspires us. Often as we grow up, we lose that inspiration. We feel beaten because we are not looking up but looking back or front, that is, to the past or future. We need someone to look up to, whomever it may be. Libraries are the abode of the great people and ideas. These great men teach us through the books and we learn. We need this, we need to see how those men saw and thought.
” I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book. ”
~ Groucho Marx
#5 It broadens your mind. You need it, everyone needs it. We have to open and broaden our minds if we want to exist, in the right way. What is the use of a mind that thinks it has seen it all? It has no imagination. It has no sense of wonder and no imagination. Library is a macrocosm of our world and it proves one thing. It proves that this world is very big and there are so many things we have no idea of. Just when you think you know all, a library brings you down to your knees. It makes one feel so unassuming and yet so comely.
A library shows you the importance of emptying your cup so that you can take in more. It tells you that it holds just a tiny part of the treasure that the world truly holds.
“I read all the time. I love it. My fantasy would be to be locked into a library. I’d be very, very happy. ”
#6 A library is an oasis. If you truly understand what that means, you have tasted a part of paradise that the divine wanted us to experience. You see, there is a difference in knowing what an oasis is and truly feeling it. When people travel hundreds of miles in the dry arid heat, the sight of greenness is life. These travellers need an oasis to let them travel further. Just like that, a library replenishes us so that we can go out into the world and face it with wisdom and evenness. Because today we are wiser.
” Everything you need for better future and success has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library. ”
~ Henri Frederic Amiel
#7 You never forget a library. It’s trange but true. We never forget a library. That was one place we dived into the seas, went to have romantic conversations, named the stars, travelled the world, investigated crimes, killed villains, found answers and as well as more questions. A library was where you came to love this world in spite of its shortcomings. It is in the library that myths were broken and truth was found.
The libraries in the world tell us to go out and see the world. It tells us that there are more wonders out there than it holds in its shelves. It tells us to find our wings and fly higher.
” I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. ”
~ Ray Bradbury