William Styron on Libraries

It is National Library Week, folks, and I'm paying a visit tonight. To get into the mood, here is a quote from William Styron's new book of essays. He waxes poetic on the Duke Library, but it could be AnyLibrary USA:

“I read everything I could lay my hands on. Even today I can recall the slightly blind and bloodshot perception I had of the vaulted Gothic reading room, overheated, the smell of glue and sweat and stale documents, winter coughs, whispers, the clock ticking toward midnight as I raised my eyes over the edge of ‘Crime and Punishment.’ The library became my hangout, my private club, my sanctuary, the place of my salvation; during the many months I was at Duke, I felt that when I was reading in the library I was sheltered from the world and from the evil winds of the future; no harm could come to me there.”

Ah, yes.

For more on Styron's new book, click here.


Anonymous said...

I didn't know it was Nat'l Library Week! I did read that Styron piece in the NYT though. It made me love libraries even more and wish I could just BE in one all the time, reading.

damned_cat said...

It really could be any library. It reminded me of the awe I felt visiting the Library of Congress. I wanted to ... move in. I wanted everyone I know to feel that awe.


Andi said...

I most had this feeling at the Boston Library - those glorious reading tables!

Andi said...

I just love this. Baylor University's Armstrong Browning Library was my sanctuary when I went to school there. The decor was glorious, as was the architecture (one of the largest stained glass collections in the southwest, apparently). Plus, I was surrounded by Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning's stuff! How better to get into a literary mood?

Iliana said...

Have fun at the library - you must tell us all about the goodies you find!

Melanie said...

I love this quote. Thanks for sharing it; it reminds me of why I got into this library gig in the first place.