Day 11: Richmond Library – I like that it’s isolated #30days30libraries

Having raced across London, ducking past festival-going crowds, Saturday shoppers and lots of people laid down with plastic bags of picnics, my journey to Richmond Library had been a little fraught.

I rushed through the open doors of the library, feeling waves of relief that I’d made it there before it’d closed.

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I was in.

I knew what I had to do.

I had to get started and begin talking to people. I needed to listen.

I wanted to take some photos, and get a feel for the place.

I’d left my husband waiting outside for me, sitting on a patch of grass, and had promised him that I wouldn’t be ‘too long.’

But I just couldn’t do it.

As though in a trance, I took a book from the shelf – Malorie Blackman’s ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ – I can’t believe that I haven’t read it before now – and sank down into one of the sofas.

I began to read.

The library had cast a spell over me.

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I could almost hear its voice …

You will take a book.

You will find a seat.

You will read. 

There was a young man sitting opposite me – also sunk, into book, and sofa. Lost in another world.

His name was Aaron.

“I *should* be coming here to work,” he said with a wry smile. “I’m on an Access course at Richmond College doing Literature, Law and History and I come here often to work. But also to take breaks too.”

He smiled again and proffered his book.

A Terry Pratchett title.

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“I love Terry Pratchett. I read him all the time.

I didn’t used to come here but now I can’t stop.

It’s quiet.

And I like that it’s isolated from everything else.”

Like me, Aaron hadn’t been able to stop himself from entering into the world of a book, shuttering down the noise of the outside.

And like me, he was in exactly the right place to do it.

 

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