Remember the library in town?

I belong to the old school. I love libraries and the service they do. When I had found out about the well-connected and easily accessible public library in the town I live in, I had not been happier! My love for libraries comes from appa, who had always encouraged library usage to buying books. And so the habit stuck; as I moved cities, the libraries changed, but the books remained the steady companions!

So recently, when appa mentioned that the British council library of Trivandrum had to be closed down, a place he had frequented as a student, I felt a pang of disappointment. Although, I have never been to this library I reminisced my own visits to the British council at Chennai, during my final year of engineering enduring a long bus journey.  The visits had a profound impact on the reader in me, in channeling not the reading, but learning. If you ever get lost, let it be in a library, is it not?

My discontentment led to googling to find out why the library had closed down.  It threw up blogs of much disheartened folks, expressing their theories of lack of funds, dwindling memberships, low readership and many such in similar lines. Even the British library at Bhopal had closed down around the same time. It only caused me more distress and I reluctantly braced myself to believe that the web-surfing, channel-surfing, iphone-loving generation had no respects to pay to the aging library.

In today’s world, when one is being spoon fed with an e-book reader and many sellers mushrooming in the market; apple being the latest with the ibooks release, who wants libraries they say? A single click can get you to the virtual library and collection of books, blogs, newspapers and what not in your own nook.  I might never be able to fathom the e-reader, even if I were tempted with a sleek design and attractive covers (N, are you listening?). No book can ever be read and the page still left unturned.

A kindle for each, her/his own; when did we forget to feel cozy in the coffee-colored pages, warmed with the touch of many readers before you, who enjoyed, loved and left their reader blessings for the next one? An e-book may never tell you such stories, in its callous, marketing exterior. And yet here I am ironically leaving a digital footprint with this blog space, crying out for the love of keeping our libraries alive.

Someday (which is sadly not far away), when learning and reading is a solely digital experience, I wish this post to will make its mark to remind the future generation that someone from their past remembered the dear old libraries!!


3 thoughts on “Remember the library in town?

  1. I have never been to library in school/college except for library hours. I havent read books either. Few years back, i started to read but i attempted fountain head and decided i should never read books ..i felt headache after reading. i read some books on self help,blink kinds-non fiction now and then while travelling in bus but i mostly buy them in moore market near central station.

    I dont like these ebooks either except for technical stuff.

  2. Jyothi says:

    True..I myself cannot fathom reading a delightful book from the screen….

    The pleasure of holding on to the ruffle of the pages is a special feeling indeed…

  3. I don’t agree with you…I don’t think libraries will go away entirely, but their format might change.

    That said, I have been freq to the British Council Library and USIS in Chennai, and somehow they never appealed to me. They seem a bit too stiff and don’t really have a variety of books.

    You don’t see any Eloor libraries closing down.

    In Bangalore, a new chain of librbaries called Jus Books has opened and they are doing thriving business. There are also many virtual libraries here that deliver books to your home.

    Basically, what I am saying is that certain types of libraries are dying down, but many are mushrooming.

    [Divya] Glad to hear that there are other kinds of libraries coming up! Over here in the Boston area, libraries are mostly used only by old-timers and few book lovers like me who havent yet adopted to audio books and kindle. Mostly everyone buys books and later donates! that was the main idea behind my post. Thanks for your comment!

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