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Sufferer of severe wanderlust, owner of freckles, lover of rain and rock music.

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make people feel something more than they understand

Libraries of my Life

November 23, 2018

PROMPT: Library Magic

My first 'real' library didn't come into my life until I turned fourteen, and it was a beautiful one, full of wooden arches and tall archives brimming with material perfect for a studious adult; while a large room was dedicated to novels. My second one,  its entrance facing a museum, came in a smaller form, but a more familiar one: in a city I knew, with tall ceilings that lifted heating from the floor to the tops of the shelves and multiple sections in different languages. The third was silver flashing, glass ceilings, marble floors, light flooding in from all angles; conference and student study rooms, computers and tablets to search for the exact book, in the curved shelves that rippled down along steps going larger then smaller; a modern breathtaking haven.

Before these, all of my library fantasies came from my first built-in library: my own home. 

There were no libraries around yet at that time, in the newly developing country of Qatar, so while new malls, universities, and parks were swiftly being built, my bedroom, living room, and halls, got filled with bookshelves almost brushing the ceiling, in dark to light woods, varying from square to rectangle shelves. Starting from the slim picture books and chunky, worn, baby books, progressing on to chapter books, novels, books of poetry hundreds of pages long almost making indents where they were placed...schoolbooks, textbooks, studies on homeopathic medicine and ones on inventions, divided by the shelves and punctuated by small photos, figurines, hurriedly stowed messes behind rock crystals...the library that taught me my first words through hundreds of books and pushed me to find more and search for these words my whole life. It was the most perfect, special place in the world...where you could eat Hot Cheetos while reading the books, and if a little orange dust happened to fall (even with care taken), well, I was never fined for it...


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  • November 23, 2018 - 6:03pm (Now Viewing)

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  • The Bubbling Pen

    I love this piece so so much! Particularly how you listed all the books to be found: "slim picture books and chunky, worn, baby books, progressing on to chapter books, novels, books of poetry hundreds of pages long..." and the ending brought a smile to my face <3

    7 months ago
  • engi_aek

    @AngelineNguyen thank you so so much! I didn't even realize that it was selected, I am going to check right away. I loved working with you, thank you for all the help. You are an incredible reviewer. :) xx

    8 months ago
  • Angelina Nguyen

    Wonderfully written, Engi! Congratulations for being selected for the Editor's Picks with this piece. It was well-deserved :)

    9 months ago