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Magic in Quiet Corners: My Late Discovery of Libraries

Growing up, the concept of being a "library person" was foreign to me. My early encounters with books didn’t involve hushed aisles or the sacred silence of public reading spaces. Instead, my childhood was filled with books handed down from those looking to clear space on their shelves, leaving me with a personal library rich in stories but lacking in the communal magic of libraries. When the urge to explore new worlds gripped me, I found solace not among the stacks of a library but within the welcoming embrace of my local Borders bookstore.

However, life has a peculiar way of introducing us to the wonders we never knew we needed. 

My journey into the heart of libraries began unexpectedly, much later in life, as I embarked on writing The Seventh Cadence. With logistics dictating the rhythms of my day—sharing a car with my wife and the impracticality of a forty-minute commute just to find a space conducive to writing—I found myself frequenting a Starbucks. Yet, the charm of coffee shop writing quickly lost its luster as the cost of a writing space that demanded a purchase became apparent.

On the search for a sanctuary where my thoughts could flow uninterrupted and without the obligation to buy another coffee, I turned to the Morrill Memorial Library, located conveniently near my job. 

Walking into the library felt like stepping into another era. The building, steadfast in its architectural heritage, greeted me with wooden crown molding, windows stained with the colors of yesteryears, and an ambiance rich with the scent of time-worn pages. Each step on the creaking stairs was a step closer to finding my perfect nook—a cozy retreat where The Seventh Cadence took shape.

Weekends brought with them a different challenge: the quest for focus amidst the distractions of home. This led me to the doors of the Boyden Library. 

In stark contrast to the Morrill, the Boyden Library was a testament to modernity—its clean lines, high ceilings, and walls of windows bathing the interior in natural light offered a different kind of inspiration. Equipped with the latest in technology, this space too provided the tranquility I needed to weave words into worlds.

Despite their differences, both libraries offered me something invaluable: the gift of solitude and the perfect backdrop against which The Seventh Cadence could come to life. In our era, where the digital reigns supreme and the internet pervades every aspect of our existence, one might wonder about the relevance of libraries. I found my answer in the quiet corners of these treasured spaces.

I stand as an enthusiastic advocate for libraries—not solely for their treasure troves of freely accessible information, their dedicated staff, or the unique charm they lend to our communities. Beyond these attributes lies a deeper magic: the freedom to sit, dream, and create. Libraries, with their promise of silence and sanctuary, remind us of the power of place in the creative process.

In celebrating National Library Week, I invite you to rediscover the magic of your local library. 

And if you have a library lover in your life, or if you know a librarian, you might want to give them this little gift:

Let’s continue to explore new worlds, inspired by the very places that have long been guardians of knowledge, imagination, and dreams.

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