When I was a child my Mother took me to the Library. I got a library card and it changed my world forever. I loved books and always came home with the number of books allowed per checkout. I always felt like this was a magical place, a fairytale place. My library was very old and had lots of charm and character. There was a big round table with a tall, fat stone pillar in the center. Even at such a young age, I remember appreciating the beauty of it and knew it was special. Sometimes I would sneak up the stairway to the adult section, just far enough to catch a glimpse of the huge polished mahogany tables and all the beautiful architectural items surrounding that room. I dreamed about being old enough to sit behind those tables someday and read.
I remember when the library was remodeled and all the historical beauty went with it. I wondered “what’s wrong with adults?” Why would they tear down such a beautiful building and replace it with an ugly square building and even uglier furnishings? Later in life I would learn about State funds for towns to rebuild their libraries. Sure, they were modern and more efficient, but they were ruined in my eyes. Books played a big role in shaping my childhood but it was the library itself that spoke to me and kept me coming back.
There are still many original functioning libraries to visit. Boston Public Library comes to mind. In Europe, there are unbelievably beautiful libraries. Wherever I travel, I seek out libraries and bookstores with lots of character.