Quiet Reading

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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When entering into this institution of knowledge, one can sense an undertone of a courteous nostalgic culture emanating from the silent environment. In the library everyone sits focused on a book. Amidst the silence sprinkles of noise fall here and there. A ghostly presence is eerily felt when walking past a seemingly endless column of shelves fully stocked with books. A monotone air conditioning unit silently whines mixed with distant coughing, sneezing, and shuffling. Every now and then the door to the men or women's lavatory abruptly bangs shut.

The amount of thinking people do gives the surrounding air a sort of tension. A person will often glance up for a second if another is heard walking close. Those who search, wander around in an almost directed confusion. People sit in front of computers in globs, as if feeding in a trough, pointing and clicking away. Gazing into the monitors, lost in the electronic world of high-speed modems and e-mail accounts.

Searching and searching, everyone looks for some type of subject matter. People fondle their hair, chew pen caps, and fidget energetically while reading.

You can always find a studious person working hard in a quiet, solitude corner. The silence of your surroundings increases the volume of your mind. My thoughts become louder, when the slightest sound rudely interrupts my thinking process. If one does not pay attention to a watch or a clock, time does not penetrate these walls. The rise and setting of the sun will not trouble the visitors of a library.

Looking for books becomes a sort of ritual. A person may look for one himself and when found seize the book like it were gold. A team, or group effort, can also attribute to the acquisition of needed materials. More eyes can always help the lost and confused individual who cannot navigate through the labyrinth of texts that lie before him or her. A person dives into a maze of bookbindings when trying to find a book in an area.

Once someone completes what he or she has set out to discover, they vacate this haven of private thought. Those discarded materials, the misfit books that no one wants, are left behind in areas far from. These orphans end up on a cart with many misplaced others. The librarian ensures the safe return of these lost ones to their rightful home. The book cart silently rolls past stopping here and there while the librarian places the book back in its home.

An array of colors creates a visual collage depicting each book's personal cover. A distinct aroma of an aged cellar permeates the aisles amongst text both new and old. A notable difference in the periodical section for the scent of newspaper print differs much from that of a book. The lonesome focus, that some enjoy, becomes lost to those everyday worries and concerns we all posses. When departing, we leave behind the peacefulness of the library, and return to the hectic activities of our lives.