LIBRARIAN : Overdue again! Seven reminders I’ve sent out to you!
HANCOCK : My dear good fellow. One cannot rush one’s savouring of the classics of world literature. Rome was not built in a day and its decline and fall cannot be read in one.
LIBRARIAN : But you haven’t got Gibbon’s Decline and Fall there.
HANCOCK : That’s got nothing to do with it. I’ve got The Love Lives of the Caesars here and that tells me everything.
Alan Simpson and Ray Galton, Hancock’s Half Hour: The Missing Page (1960)
“The Librarian is, of course, very much in favour of reading in general, but readers in particular get on his nerves. There is something sacrilegious about the way people keep taking books off the shelves and wearing out the words by reading them. He likes people who love and respect books, and the best way to do that, in the Librarian’s opinion, is to leave them on the shelves where Nature intended them to be.”
Terry Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, The Discworld Companion (1984)
Not being a regular library user myself, I have not had much encounters with librarians, be it good or bad.
But even so, I think I can still agree and share the same sentiments as Greer (below) in that, one feels at home when in a library. I think this is simply because “home is where the heart is”, and for a book lover, the heart is for certain to be found among books. 😉
Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark. The pleasure they give is steady, unorgastic, reliable, deep and long-lasting. In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed.
Germaine Greer, Daddy, We Hardly Knew You (1990)