I can hear Oscar Wilde stride the isle of this library, his fur jacket billowing behind his bellowing voice, "So many books, so little time."

 

But it wasn't Oscar Wilde who said this.

It was Frank Zappa.

I still lie.

 

It was Mark Twain.

Oscar Wilde did say,"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it."

 

It's more important what is said than who it is that said it.

 

Usually I get a questioning, somewhat lost look, when I first meet someone and give them my name.

"Like the Ghost in a Christmas Carol."

If the person I'm meeting looks even more perplexed, I offer, "You know, the First Ghost, the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge's old business partner."

If the person still looks like Goldie without her Locks, I leave smiling with, "Oh, you're such a little Dickens."

That was their last chance. "I'm sorry. Okay. Like Bob Marley, you know; the reggae artist."

 

It takes about thirty seconds to discover if the person I'm meeting reads and if that person digs libraries like I do.

A person can get lost in a library, because it is filled with books and books are something one can disappear into and come out changed a little or a lot.

 

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested," said Sir Francis Bacon four hundred fifty years ago.

If books are to be tasted, chewed, swallowed and digested, then a library full of books is an all-you-can-eat endless buffet of beautiful imagining.

I enjoy very much designing libraries and places a person might curl up like a cat in the warmth of paned sunlight draped on big pillows floating on a carpet made magic by Aladdin and his lamp.

The next library is on the third floor of four just below the star gazing deck.

It is almost finished.

The library loft is fifteen feet wide by fifteen feet long by fifteen feet tall, a perfect hollow sugar cube with four crossing concrete arches vaulting diagonally from the four corners of the space, supporting thick dark partly-burned wooden ceiling planks culled from a factory built in 1906. Six green glass blocks in two sets of three light the floor sawed from the same old wood as the ceiling, cross-cut ripped patterns swirl across the grain, stained chocolate. A huge picture square bottomed, quatra-foiled topped wide framed wood window looks out to the lake over terracotta laid tile through two giant Live Oak trees silhouetting sunsets fuschia and magenta and orange. Four more windows, each two feet by three, are set high and deep in the exact center of each of the walls. These windows are for venting and for looking out of, North and East and South and West, from the three foot wide, suspended black steel and Hershey's wood plank mezzanine floor on three of the four walls but not the wall with the huge quatra-foiled window. The loft's loft is reached winding up a steel spiraling stair just wide enough to carry both feet and a book or two in one hand. And from the floor to the ceiling on every wall, except the one with the view of the sunsets, are shelves upon shelves upon shelves stacked with books.

It's not time to show you pictures of the new library. Words are worth thousands of pictures.

 

I promise.

Read a good book.

See what you see in your mind.

 

"So many books, so little time."

Frankly speaking.

I can't wait to begin giving them each a number and a place on the shelves in the library loft. They are already on the shelves in the library of my mind.

Pick up a good book. Read a chapter or two or ten. Then pick up a pen and paper and move your fingers over some words of yourself.

There is really not much more rewarding.

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