January 30, 2013

The Bibliothèque

 Exchanged the twice renewed Design Sponge for some historical fiction options for the plane ride Saturday.

One of my favorite things about living where I live is the proximity to the Montreal public library (otherwise known as the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec).  Ever since I was little girl I've loved scanning library stacks for new treasures and leaving with exciting armfuls.  When Carrie Bradshaw said she loved the smell of library books I knew exactly what she meant.  There is nothing as comforting and relaxing as their musty aroma and the crinkly sound the plastic covers make as you open a fresh story.  Extra points if the book has the old library card in the back.

In the ever expanding digital age where the last 5 years have reduced most people to the simplicity of e-books, I am still a hanger-on to the tradition of libraries and Montreal has an exceptionally beautiful one.  The building itself has won architectural awards and what many people don't realize is that it houses all different kinds of media - in addition to novels and biographies there are music collections, movies, yoga and exercise DVDs, standardized test study books, interior decorating references (Domino or Design Sponge anyone?), how to's, business books, magazines, newspapers, free computers, entertainment areas for children, even e-books.  I highly recommend a visit even if you don't live close by.

Every time I peruse the options I am so appreciative that these intellectual meccas not only exist but are a public service.  A building full of free knowledge, as much as you can read. This is the true wealth of our society.

Aren't we lucky? :-)

Main staircase and elevators of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

Every floor is flooded with natural light as the outer walls are glass.

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