Fresh from her holiday where she spent her days basking in the sunshine with her nose in books, our very own Senior Marketing Account Executive, Keshia Chauhan thought it seemed like the perfect time to write a quick blog on her love of books for National Libraries Day!
National Libraries Day marks a celebration of institutions within towns and cities worldwide – libraries aren’t just about books – they’re about communities. As much as I love Birmingham’s iconic new library, the old Central Library will forever have a special place in my heart.
For as long as I can remember, books have always been my thing. So much so that that I credit my terrible eye sight to the many evenings of my childhood that I spent reading my beloved DK encyclopaedia under my duvet with a torch when I was supposed to sleeping (wild, I know!)
There’s something about getting stuck into a good read that a Netflix series just can’t replace. One of my favourite smells is that of books. It evokes memories of spending hours in bookshops as a child with my late father, pouring over books before making my careful selections – books that I read over and over again until they became dog-eared and found themselves resigned to my overflowing bookshelf following the next trip to a bookstore.
Every Saturday morning I recall the mad rush to get to Birmingham’s Central Library in time for my IT Club group (yes, IT Club was my idea of fun as a child!) – after a 2 hour class, I escaped to the children’s fiction section with my classmates, excitedly selecting a few books to read throughout the week, handing over my prized library card and watching as the librarian stamped the book’s return date. For me the library was so much more than just a place to get books – it was where I learned. Where I made and met friends. Where I could explore stories and gather new information. Every Saturday morning, I was part of Central Library’s community and I continued to be until its closure 2013.
Whilst we’re fortunate enough here in Birmingham to have had our Central Library replaced, the news of complete closures of more and more libraries across the UK is saddening. Communities are being broken up, from the elderly whose only interaction is with the clerk at the desk, to the single mother whose only chance at being involved in a support group is the baby and rhyming session that takes place once a week.
So you see, libraries are more important than you think. In a world where we are leading ever-busying lifestyles, taking the time to sit in a quiet room with a cup of fresh coffee and a good book feels like the ultimate luxury – one I don’t think I’ll ever tire of and one that I hope to instil in many generations to come.
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