I posted a few pictures recently of the New York Public Library, and I'm going to be perfectly honest with you: none of the photos I took-- or any that I've seen-- will do it justice. It's magnificent, a castle for books. I grew up a reader and in school I would much rather stay in with a good book than go out, growing my personal library to astronomical sizes (I've since downsized considerably, but in the past have resorted to storing books under my bed in boxes), and my favorites still travel with me every time I move.
One of your comments stuck with me. One of the lovely members of our community at If You Give a Girl a Suitcase told me one of my photos reminded her of Matilda. If you haven't read the book, it should be on your list immediately. I was shocked at how true it really was. I remember the part of the book when Matilda first walks into the library and she's absolutely dwarfed by everything around her. But she wasn't intimidated. She felt at home. That's how the library felt to
me. I was surrounded by more information than I could wrap my brain around, in one of the grandest spaces I've ever been in my life and I was calm. It was beautiful. It's one of the places that I'll carry with me for a long time, simply because of the way it welcomes people.
The New York Public Library system is doing a social media campaign right now called, "Libraries are for Everyone," and I love everything about it because it's so true. The New York Public Library is a place where people from all walks of life can gather and celebrate knowledge. It costs nothing to get in-- you can just walk right in the door! It was symbolic of the best parts of our culture. Everyone has the opportunity to learn. Nobody will be turned away. It's a place for families to spend time together and for colleagues to collaborate. It's beautiful and I'm still in awe, much like Matilda, when she walked into her local library for the first time.
The New York Public Library was my place of wonder. I challenge you to find one of those places this week and share it with others. Who knows, the magic you find there might stick with you for a long time.