Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

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So, I really am the child of my parents, at least in this way.

Both of my parents were librarians for most of their lives, until they retired, and a lot of times the library ended up being my day care center and baby-sitter, once sitting in an academic library became interesting enough to me to keep me occupied.

One of my early memories is being left in a Rutgers library reading room with a physics book in front of me. The memory includes a chart of the various subatomic particles known at the time, and various details about them. I had to have been eight or younger, because we moved away from New Jersey by the time I was eight and a half.

Ever since, libraries in general, and academic libraries in particular, have been a kind of refuge. Nowadays, I find myself browsing around them at night. They're often open later than other libraries. And they have a lot more books.

A couple of nights ago I found myself climbing the stack stairways in one of the local academic libraries, thinking about my ideal of the ultimate library; one with copies of every book (and scroll, etc.) ever written, shelved level upon level, high into the sky and deep underground. Hundreds of miles of shelves. Reading desks in the open stacks, and stairways from level to level. Books in hundreds of languages. Books on every conceivable subject. And a huge staff cataloging, maintaining, and caring for the collection.

Yes, I spent a lot of my life in SML. :)

(I leave aside here the idea of a library containing all the books never written, from The Sandman, because that's a lot more books. I seem to remember that in The Sandman Companion Gaiman mentions that all the books ever written are in a small, rarely-visited annex of Lucien's library, which contains all the books never written. I'd be content with that small annex, thanks.)
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