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.