The sound of plastic crackles as you open your new book. The smell of antique printed pages emerges with every turn. This is the beauty of library books.
As we indulge ourselves in all things new, we forget the beauty of used items. When it comes to books, I find a balance between my desire to have a new book immediately versus waiting for a used one to come in the mail. Our generation no longer sees the importance of reuse: We listen to the media tell us what we need and want.
Every so often, we need to remove ourselves from this new bubble and reacquaint ourselves with reality. When visiting the Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library, I embraced this idea. My immediate reaction was lackluster, but after exploring, I realized how many gems were hiding among the shelves. – This tends to be our first reaction to an unfamiliar experience. But if we take the time to immerse ourselves in new spaces, we can adjust to the environment.
As I ventured through each section, I was taken back to my childhood. Days of rummaging through books that caught my eye and aimlessly stuffing them back on the shelves. The minute I opened these plastic covered books, a sensory experience was triggered. The feel, look, and smell of library books has always been my favorite part of reading. They remind me of a grandparent’s house that was filled with memories of kids running around, the smell of pastries, and stories being read as the children fell asleep.
Immersing myself in the Vermillion library reminded me how much we need to take pause in our lives. Being surrounded by books, new and old, children playing hide-and-seek, and stumbling upon parts of history let my mind wander. I was transported into another world that allowed my curiosity to run wild and to appreciate the art of writing.
Libraries are a safe haven for children to explore, imagine, and immerse themselves in the world of books. These spaces are open to all ages to take part in a variety of clubs and programs to get excited about reading. For those of us who don’t have access to these spaces, where do we find our safe haven?
Where do we go to unplug from the media and just be?