It’s taken me almost thirty three years to realise that libraries can be such wonderful places to visit. And I am visiting them a lot lately, for books of all desc
More than two thousand years ago ancient China burned their libraries and outlawed the things that existed in them, like stories and languages, and they established new libraries under new flags of imperialism. A little less than two thousand years ago ancient Rome did a similar thing with the tyrannical rise of Christianity as a political power at that time... Even the Dead Sea Scrolls; we know them now as relics retrieved from some dusty hidey hole, but they were once a heavy fixture in perhaps the earliest library of all. Not known as the Dead Sea Scrolls at the time, these texts were also sought for ruin by those with a lust for power and control, too - before they were stashed in the earth and buried...
And yet libraries survive. More cultivated and flowerful than ever.
Some people call them “cultural centres” now, and that’s OK by me because I think they must be one of the greatest achievements in all civilised society.