With the local library opening last week, we breathed another collective sigh of pleasure.
We in 2020 have learned to take our joy where we can get it.
And such a joy it was to walk back through those doors, simple as it may seem. Even with the silly mask ‘guideline’ and the plastic ‘don’t-breathe-on-me’ shields set up, it felt like home. No outside lending services; the chairs are all atop the tables, and in the old reading room the comfy chairs are rammed together, to prevent anyone from settling down.
The comfort of humans is not a concern for policymakers in 2020. Ironically, while you are not allowed to sit and read in the library, you can sit and veg out in front of the computers, saran wrap on the keyboards and mice.
If you’re looking for a good book after gobbling through all your old ones at home during the lockdown, you might check out Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. It’s one of those classic draw-you-in tomes that gets better with every page.
It’s satisfying conclusion makes me smile, even after 5 or 6 readings.
Take joy in the simple things, and keep calm. After everything we’ve seen and all the carnage we are seeing, reading is looking wiser by the day. And they can’t take this pleasure from us.
So read on, my fellow bibliophiles, and just breathe.