a place for the curious

Tag: feels like home

Dear librarian

a photo of a book titled "one thousand beautiful things" with a rose on the cover, next to a little Lego manThe walls were beige and the floor was beige. The chairs were plastic and the tables flimsy and chipped. Yet this room was more full of life and colour than my most vibrant dreams.

This was my first library. A place overflowing with books. Shelf after endless shelf of them, reaching far above my young head.

My library also had a little games room. A table, two chairs and a beanbag. It was the warmest and most welcoming room on the planet. I felt safe there. Safe and happy. The word sanctuary seems too thin to convey just how good it was.

Of course, I shared this space with other children and adults. I didn’t mind. A place of books draws in people who love books. That’s not to say that all people who love books are lovely people, but it does attract people with a similar frame of mind.

And at the centre of all of these books and book-ish people was the Ringmaster. The librarian.

I don’t know her name. Oh, how I wish I did. I would hunt her down, hold her in my arms and pepper her forehead with the gentlest of kisses.

In one way, it doesn’t matter. Librarians the world over provide access to knowledge, share with us their beautiful collections of books and, almost unwittingly, they provide shelter.

Each librarian probably has a different way of welcoming you. My librarian was of a kind who felt that all books were good books, even the bad ones. She has left me with an unbiased love for any book. I’m as at home with Luminaries as I am with the Little Fuzzies. Whatever it is, I’ll try not to judge it by cover, genre or price. Every one gets at least one chance. Maybe two.

So, from the bottom of my papery heart, dear librarian, I wish to say thank you.

Thanks for every bright little word. Every grand word. Every long and winding sentence. Every page, every author, every book. Thank you and your amazing house of words.

Bibelots in the wild: postcards

This is the first post in an ongoing series on bibelots in the wild.

A quick happy snap of postcards pinned to a menu boardI have a story to tell. It starts here.

Or, perhaps, it starts over there. You know the place. Sure you do. It’s one of your favourite hangouts. They know you by name and know what you like, but they also know you like to surprise them occasionally.

Ringing any bells?

Of course, this place, mine or yours, could be many places. But not any place.  Any place might be a nameless multinational.  No, that’s not this place. This place has quirks.  It has some things not quite right and some things unexpected, but delightful.

This particular place is in a marketplace.  They have a wall covered with bibelots, or curios if you prefer.

They reside, unconsidered, in one corner of the cafe.  They aren’t important and it’s nothing to write home about, but, and here’s the thing, they include things that you can write home on.

A bibelot can be just about anything, but I feel sure that a postcard is almost always, once written, a bibelot for life.

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