Who doesn’t love a library? If you just put your hand up, then step away from your computer. Put away your notebook. Forget about writing a book. Real writers love libraries.
These days it seems that there are so many writing/publishing pundits who seem to think that the first consideration in writing a book is finding a topic that will resonate with readers. Real writers write about subjects that resonate with them. Equally, real writers love books. And, where do books reside? In libraries, of course.
It’s possible to be a booklover and find your “library” in the online world, but if that’s the case, you are short-changing yourself. You need to walk through the stacks of a real library to appreciate the sheer volume of material that’s available to you and other readers. You need to take a volume off the shelf, sit in a comfortable chair or at a table and open the book up to a random page. You need to see what someone else has written.
In his autobiography, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the following: “I had found my religion: nothing seemed more important to me than a book. I saw the library as a temple.” For us here at Moonlight Press, libraries have been our happy place for many years. Even J.K. Rowling suggests, “When in doubt, go to the library.” Which brings us to all the things a visit to a library can do for you.
- A library is a quiet place where you can sit still and listen to your own thoughts. In these days of constant bombardment from all sides, including your own digital devices, this might be one of the few opportunities outside of your own home to capture some of those thoughts and ideas that have been milling around in your head.
- A library if full of information. Yes, of course, you can go to your favourite online search engine and do research. But once in a while, it’s a good idea to sit with a real reference book. Believe us, it’s inspiring.
- A library is full of books. This is so obvious, and yet you probably don’t think about it much. As a writer, if you’re at all serious about finishing a book, just consider all the ways you can be inspired by the finished products from so man other writers.
- A library lets you borrow material for free. Yes, free! Of course, you know this, but sometimes we forget that it’s not necessary to spend money on every single book we read. So, if money holds you back from reding widely, the library is your friend.
- A library has librarians. This is another obvious one but are you aware that librarians are not in the library just to sign out books for you? In fact, that person helping you sign out a book or reshelving the returned books is probably not a librarian, rather an assistant. Professional librarians can help you find even the most obscure pieces of information. They are so much superior to Mr. Google!
Regardless of where you live, you can find a library of one sort or another in relatively close proximity. We love university libraries. Here in Toronto, we’re lucky to have so many libraries near-by: rare books libraries, science libraries, social sciences libraries, public libraries, and the list goes on.
If you really are a writer, and no just someone who wants to “have written” a book, then take some time to visit a library and see if you can feel the magic.