Libraries Are Churches Of Dreams

A Country Without Libraries

Like many other Americans of my generation, I owe much of my knowledge to thousands of books I withdrew from public libraries over a lifetime. I remember the sense of awe I felt as a teenager when I realized I could roam among the shelves, take down any book I wanted, examine it at my leisure at one of the library tables, and if it struck my fancy, bring it home. Not just some thriller or serious novel, but also big art books and recordings of everything from jazz to operas and symphonies.


Filed under Public Libraries

5 responses to “Libraries Are Churches Of Dreams

  1. Same for me in the UK. Churches of Dreams is it. I used to go to libraries from a very young age. I remember getting all the Philip K. Dick books out that I could find. And discovering new books right through the years. And for music, I remember we had this one old-time blues duo (a bit like Leon Redbone) and I unearthed these music scores going back to the 1920s – we’d then cover these old tunes.

    In the UK, libraries are going down…first it was an influx of DVDs, computer games – anything but books. Now it’s budget cuts which seem to spell doom.

    • mikecane

      I never minded the flood of VHS and then DVD. As long as it got people using the library! Besides, I would borrow some of those too. Can’t be reading all the time.

  2. Yeah, us too, we’d get loads of DVDs and before that video cassettes. With the UK libraries you can rent DVDs for a week at low cost. Whereas video rental stores give you one night, then you pay more for late returns. So libraries win again!

    I used to borrow a lot of music too – first cassettes, then CDs…the great thing was obscure stuff was available. I remember getting great blues CDs from Tottenham Library in North London…. I’d get handfuls of them mixed with Chuck D and Public Enemy.

  3. Yeah, a couple of quid for a week And you do a pound for CDs…and if you’re late you get hit with a fine! U.S.A. win!

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