In The Library
by, 05-16-2011 at 06:59 PM (483 Views)
Our library in town has a sepia look. I donít know if this betokens some future consignment to history, like some photo relic of past times, but it is certainly the pervading colour, and libraries may well radically change in this digital age. Who can tell?
The light brown carpet, and light brown walls certainly conspire to a kind of tan calm of visual deprivation. I suppose you donít really want a vibrant jazz for fear of waking the sleeping odd people that hang around these warm public buildings.
Iím sitting in here reading a bit about Thomas Cromwell; a commoner who rose through Tudor ranks to become Henry VIIIís fixer, but who fell foul of the vagaries of court and a lack of connection. This place is far from anything like power. Little cluster of old guys from different countries are sitting in corners. Their conversation, being in another language, is like the hum of an old heater, as no words get through to disturb or distract you.
The younger ones tend to be up on the balcony with the computers, and far away from the books and librarians. There is chatter, if you care to listen, but the idiosyncratic acoustics of this former nightclub seem to dissipate the noise into a tawny fuzz. I donít care to tune in, but instead I focus upon the virtually silent borrowers who creep about between the shelves like cats stalking a good title. On reflection, stalking seems too martial a word; itís too lusty for the timid pattering that is occurring.
The loudest corner has the newspapers. The drone of the old guys is punctuated with the rustle of broadsheets being wrestled into manageable rectangles. It will go quieter for a few minutes until the rectangle has given up itís secrets, and the process begins again. I am unrustled.
There are few librarians loitering. They gather in a small pack near the entrance to lament the demise of their powerful checking in BIG DESK by the self service computers that bleep your books in and out. I miss the BIG DESK and the self important bloke who would grudgingly answer my queries. Thereís no denying the self service is quicker though. Less fuss. I like less fuss.
With the sepia vista and the brown noise, it all seems to merge into a comfortable space where you can chill out for a bit, though I suspect they encourage the old guys to come in to talk and keep the heating bills down with their breath. It certainly doesnít have that cheerful, off-putting embrace you would find in a modern establishment like Tescos, but instead holds onto a faded charm like an old cap you forget youíre wearing. A brown one, of course, to merge in.