and if my thought-dreams could be seen

they'd probably put my head in a guillotine

Natalie Not Pedantic

Natalie Not Pedantic
Location
Australia
Birthday
November 01
Bio
“If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.” Henry Rollins ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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MAY 28, 2011 8:03PM

The Reading Room

Rate: 39 Flag

 

There is a library within the library at my university where I can go to read first editions of old, old books – among other treasures. You cannot browse here because the collection is hidden away. To look at them you must show identification and tell the guardian the name of the book you want. People do this in low, low whispers out of respect for the tomes entombed in the vault below.

The guardian then disappears down a stairway to run her fingers over leather-bound oysters whose pearls are hidden from all but the very few who search them out. While I wait for her return, I wonder about the forgotten books that nobody asks for.

The echo of dignified footsteps precedes the guardian into the room. Our hands meet over the revered gift in a solemn pact of trust and promise. In the large reading room there are four big, sturdy old desks, each with room for four chairs, and a corner with old leather sofas. There is always room here because the library within a library is never busy; this place is like a secret almost too precious to share.

I invariably choose the sofa. The book in my hands arouses my senses. My eyes roam over the cover – I am forever amazed at the work that must have gone into the binding of very old books. There is always a scent. Sometimes it’s leather, sometimes a soft musk; each book is its own perfume.

The library is silent but for the sound of pages turning oh-so-gently and the occasional soft sigh from my few fellow bibliophiles.

I would live here if I could.           

 

           the_bookworm-large              

The Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg

 

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very cool.
sadly I don't even miss real books since I'm currently infatuated with audio stories, but I could miss them through your senses
You are lucky to have such a place. Libraries are among my favorite places anyway, but this "library within a library" sounds magical.
Julie, I've never listened to an audio book. I may give it a try.

Nana, I am so lucky to be able to lose (or find) myself there whenever I need to.
Are you not required to wear white cotton gloves to handle such rare books? What a compelling place.
♥R
Yes. What nanatehay wrote...
I still recall in a library `yearnin'
searching, losti n time, `indexes'
and...
who dare know what's happening?
`
Nobody
Nothing
Oh woes
o, burps
respects
a `3 X 5
a card
index
a duo
decimal
We okay
soft burp
crime do
no pays`
Excellent writing! And I think you've just described a part of Heaven....
the library within a library is never busy; this place is like a secret almost too precious to share...

i'm glad u have a guardian of such lively tombs down there.
here we don't.
nothing of importance is found
in any of my most frequented libraries,
except one special one, where they actually HAVE a basement
i can go into, but
i can't reveal its whereabouts becuz that's where i steal books
from...they have no electronic monitoring!
I can smell these books and loved this phrase "...I wonder about the forgotten books that nobody asks for."

Trust that you are well.
Fusun, the first time I went there I was surprised that we were allowed to touch the books, let alone read them. And it's just not just books - there are photographs and old brochures, etc. Some of the pieces are so delicate that it feels they may fall apart.

I think the librarians know that anyone who takes the time to visit will also take the care to be as gentle as possible.
I don't think I would share this magical place either. It sounds so incredible.
In such a place, dreams are recast from the pages written my minds not so different from yours and mine, and we are reminded that humanity is perhaps nothing more nor less than a wonderfully crafted, leather-bound treasure such as these.
I wish that once I could read such a treasure as you do.

Please enjoy..and my...if is GREAT to see you back here writing. I have missed you, Nat.

J D
Art, these books belong on index cards, I think. Even they have fallen victim to technology though - the catalogue is electronic.

Alysa, I almost went with something similar for a title. Thank you stopping by.

James, I have missed our marathon PM sessions. I hope you're doing well.

Grif, thank you - all is good here. I'd read all the forgotten books if I could, my friend.

LL2, I've missed you. I will catch up with your posts.

JD, you are awesome. The first part of your comment is worthy of a post itself. It's great to be back.
Love these books, love this special place and you honor us all who love books.
Rated.
doing quite well, thanks to the new computer
and the new-found accurate
respect for women,
whom i no longer
demand totally understand my nonsense.

which i only half agree with when i write it.
except that it IS accurate,
and only needs the famous "woman's touch",

a scarce commodity in the paranoid northeast usa.
Is the a spot where you (or I) could hide a cot, a mini fridge, and a hot plate?

I love the old books I buy from abebooks.com. My copy of Three Men in a Boat is over 100 years old, and I love all the sensations in reading it including the smell.
It sounds like heaven. "each book is its own perfume."
Oh, how lovely. "and the occasional soft sigh..." ~r
I have an old bookstore near me, the gentleman is a university professor and i feel this place is home to me, since I miss the city so much at times.All the old books.. the heavy pages, understood. I understand this piece, well done. And glad to see you here.
I have an old bookstore near me, the gentleman is a university professor and i feel this place is home to me, since I miss the city so much at times.All the old books.. the heavy pages, understood. I understand this piece, well done. And glad to see you here.
Oh, yes! To live among the lofty reaches for transcendence within leather and gold- leaf bindings is the ultimate dream! It is more than printed words. It is a golden promise that always more awaits. Always! Lucky lady, you are:)
You describe it so perfectly. It sounds like a beautiful sanctuary.
Sounds too awesome for words!!!

Rated!
Love and freedom one page at a time.


Well spoken, NNP.
Natalie, we don't even have really good bookstores let alone a library so wonderful as that where I am. Great post. There is nothing like an old book to really enliven the senses.
Ah, yes, the golden silence of a library. The silence of being lost in another world ... imagined or real ... and from where we do not wish to be found.

This was lovely, Natalie. .... And it is wonderful to see you here again!
I feel as though I am reading a prayer. A prayer I share.
I would live there too. Lovely to be finding your words.
WE ARE FISH BOOBS, WE HAVE QUESTIONS, AND WE WERE TOLD BY THE EARTHLING NANATEHAY THAT YOU, GREAT GODDESS OF MOLDED JELLO, HAVE ANSWERS.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE TERM, 'GOAT FONDLER' AND WHY DOES IT SEEM TO NOT APPEAR IN YOUR BIBLE?

IS THE OCEAN REALLY JUST A GREAT BIG TOILET BOWL OF YOUR PLANET?

OUR FISH HAVE TOLD US THAT YES, IT IS. MANY FISH POOPING AND PEEING IN IT AND THAT YOU HUMAN TYPES LIKE IT VERY MUCH, POUR IT ON YOUR SALAD?

WE HAVE MANY QUESTIONS, WE HOPE YOU HAVE MANY ANSWERS.

YOU SEEM OKAY, NOT ANYTHING AT ALL WHAT TINKERERTINK69 TOLD US.

DID YOU REALLY MOUNT THE HEAD OF A GREAT WHITE SHARK, AND DIDN'T THAT HURT?

WE HAVE RATED YOU.

FISH BOOBS OUT.
I wonder too, about the books nobody asks about....
Beautifully written, I can smell those old books just reading about them here.
I have inherited many old books-- they are treasures to me, words being used in such different ways, bound so carefully....
This piece, and the beautiful illustration set me thinking - the peace and quiet of intent and discovery ; the craft of bookbinding itself ... I knew an elderly bookbinder here in Sydney ; when he died his shop became a video rental - that was in West Ryde ; thinking about a saddler, a man in his seventies in Coonamble whose father started the business a hundred years ago, the deep rich fragrance there, now gone.
Libraries are the last hurrah, sanctuaries of the sane - they issue cotton gloves at the Mitchell Stack in Sydney, if you want to look at the Streeton, Conder, Bauer watercolours, and if you ask, they let you keep the gloves when you're finished ;-)
Lovely to read you again Natalie, and follow the paths that lead from your pages again.
Love to know what you're studying.
Heaven for book lovers.
An editor's dream. ~r~
A library within a library. I want one.
R
Good to read you again Natalie and it is as good and lyrical as ever, touches the senses and the spirit at the same time :)
Rated.
And it's sad that probably many of those books, certain politicians would like to ban and burn. (People like that are no different than the Taliban who dynamited and shelled statues carved in sandstone or the self described (and isn't it always so) puritans who took hammer and chisel to so many priceless works of art.)

The power of collective ignorance.

I have a canvas book bag from a store (since closed) that says something like 'nothing is more sad than those that refuse to read'. Yes. Blind people can't read normal books, and for them there is no shame but for the masses that refuse to read. Theirs is a world in a cage that they have constructed for themselves. They have no one else to blame for their lot in life...

Decades ago at the university where I worked there was a man that was flashing people in the old classics section of the library. In those days they kept books of the type you mention in a sub-basement that you could get too easier. People started joking that at least the pervert had a sense of style...
Poetic, rich and dreamy. You know, sometimes when I try to envision an afterlife, glimpses of what you describe come to mind: a solemn, reverent place where people gather to learn the oldest of secrets in silence.

(I can't believe I hadn't added you as a favorite at this point. Sorry - not always on top of things here!)
I think that you should write some more fascinating stuff like this and post it in your blog here. After all, it is nearly May 2012. Once a year ought not tax you.
Sure not pedantic here Natalie.