Newness for a New Year

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I find books very comforting. I realized that today as I walked into the Harold B. Library at BYU. I was in search of Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I've wanted to read it for a while, and I finally decided to find it.

Searching for a book is part of the pleasure in a library. I love walking the long aisles and counting the numbers as I approach the right stack. Sometimes it takes me longer than it should, but the process is always pleasant. On my way to Bel Canto, I meandered down an aisle of beautiful, old books. I couldn't read any of the titles because they were in a different language, but it didn't matter. Just looking at the bindings is an experience. Of course, the distraction of finding many other books en route is part of why I enjoy libraries. Today, I passed My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok--another book on my to-read list. So, I picked it up as well.

On one aisle there were books that enclosed the letters of Katherine Mansfield. I couldn't help but wonder who she was and to whom she wrote letters. Why are they significant enough to put in a book?

The BYU library also holds countless memories of my four years in Provo. As I walk along, my mind saunters through study groups, long hours working on my thesis, conversations, boys, friends, stress, and so many other moments that hang about the stacks like the books. Sometimes, my memories provide as much entertainment as the books I find because I marvel at how so many things feel so important at the moment and then somehow fade into amusement as they are stretched against time.


Nate & Nicole said...

Hi Breanne. I loved this post. I completely agree - I love libraries. I especially love and miss the HBLL.

You picked some good books, too. I liked Bel Canto a lot, and I loved My Name is Asher Lev (along with The Gift of Asher Lev, The Chosen, and The Promise). Those books inspired me to then read more about Orthodox Jews. Very interesting.

Hope all is well :).


Emily McAllister said...

I loved this post, because it took me back to the many hours I spent in the Merrill and SciTech Libraries at Utah State. I went there to study, to sleep, to just be alone with my own thoughts, when I think about my time at school I can't help but feel that the Libary is one of the places I think of often. It is where I first really discovered Jane Austen and the beautiful world's she created. The library is still one of my favorite places to go for retreat. In fact many times on a Saturday if I have some free time, I like to go and sit at the Library and read magazines. What a wonderful gift the library is.

Spencer G said...

Bel Canto and My Name is Asher Lev are both wonderful, wonderful books. I think you'll really like them.

Alisa said...

When I was at Ricks the Library was not the place to go if you actually wanted to study uninterupted. I would go to other buildings to do that(many fond memories with each of those). At the U though, I always went to the Library to study. My favorite place was the Middle Eastern Wing. No one ever was there. I would find a little corner and just study, read, or listen to music. I loved to just sit and enjoy being by myself surrounded by books(even though I couldn't read more than half of them around me).