My father loved to read and he shared the love of books with me. Even before I learned to read I would go to the library with him. He went every couple of weeks to get his supply of books and while he searched for just the right books to get I would wander the aisles in the wonder of all the shelves of books impatient for the day when I could have a library card and be permitted to take books home.
When I was finally in the first grade the wonderful day came and I got my library card. I have not been without one since that day. Every couple of weeks I go to the library to wander and wonder and choose books just like Daddy did all those years ago.
The library here is renovating all the branches and now it is my libraries turn. My branch will be closed for about a year. Of course, there are other branches but not within walking distance so not as convenient. I will survive the year, though inconveniently. It is wonderful that the library will be updated with meeting and media rooms, and more computers. It will be light and fresh and new. It is exciting but it is also sad. Sad because there will be fewer books, actual printed paper books with covers that spark the imagination. Real books to leaf through and read a sentence here and there before checking it out at the front desk and carrying it home.
It is probably a good thing that I am as old as I am because I will not know the day when there are no real books. When libraries will be buildings with meeting and media rooms and computers. Nice, even beautiful buildings, but bare of shelves holding the world of books with written words waiting to be wandered through with wonder. Sad for me and sad for the readers of the future, too, who will only know e-books read on computers and tablets and phones. They will not know books that have weight and presence that can be leafed through back-and-forth, felt and held like a friend or lover.