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Thursday, 11 August 2011


pile of books  2

HEADED for the university library yesterday - my first time, to see what it was like.  Signed in and went directly to online catalogue.  After I'd made a few jottings I noted the shelves which had the most related books on my topic (memory, what else?  Had you forgotten?).  When I finally found the part I wanted among the rows and rows of stacks I stood there for some time, gawping.  Shelves and shelves of books on memory, forgetfulness, memory and emotion, memory and attention...jiggled about trying to contain urge to go and grab a person and drag them to the shelves and squeak: Look!  Look at all these books!

Thankfully no one was in grabbing range.  I rationed myself to three books at a time and went and found a lovely desk by the window.  Entered realm of library bliss.  Definitely going back - this time with high energy food and covered drink (allowed in certain sections), a ruler - because I felt a strong desire to underline my headings (!), and some ear plugs - for when students' boyfriends/girlfriends come in and start whispering and giggling.  I'm used to general noise in the city library but constant whispering in an otherwise silent place is rather grating.  Cannot make notes and have fingers in both ears at the same time.

Unfortunately the tiredness hit rather hard after 2 hours, and I couldn't help feeling acute frustration on the way home, wishing I had the energy to stay longer.  As it is, I had to go and lie down and feel fairly useless in the afternoon.  That aside, it is a tremendous resource and I know I've barely skimmed the surface.

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Emma said...

I know what you mean about being overwhelmed by library options. There are so many possibilities and every book leads on to hundreds more. How to choose?

Chelliah Laity said...

I felt a surge of positivism for you when I read about how much you did in 2 hours. Don't be too hard on yourself and I refer to your words '...useless in the afternoon'.

Lucy Mills said...

Thanks, Chelliah. I've received a similar message from various places about not feeling low about what I can't do in my 'tired' times of day. Trying to look at it constructively; time to recharge and restore.

"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster