When I was around six years old, my grandfather accompanied me to the nearest public library and made a pass for me to have access borrowing books whenever I wanted. It felt like such a grownup thing. Also it was the first time I’ve seen so many books in the same place.
This library was improvised in one small apartment (a so called garçon-iere), in this very dodgy area, nearby the area of the communist apartment I was living with my grandparents and my mother. Obviously, the place was modest and small, however at that point seemed the most grandiose and exciting place that I could imagine. The first time I went alone, overcoming my fear of the dark long corridor, it was a cornerstone. It was a place where I could discover another universe, so many different worlds, so far, different, fascinating and, maybe some, better than my own world.
For some reason, I read a lot about the nazi concentration camps. My grandfather had a few of those at home also, I guess it started with that. Also it was a series about the Second World War written by a very controversial Danish author: Sven Hassel. His books are written in the first person, describing the brutal view on war of the 27 Panzer (Penal) Regiment composed by sentenced criminals, court- martialed soldiers and political undesired, with the majority of action happening in URSS.
I know, for a 7/8/9 years old this is heavy reading, yet, it was so fascinating that I couldn’t stop. I guess the brutality and violence catch is not to be underestimated. Probably nowadays I would have played some war game online, no rocket science there.
From that point until today, of course the reading subjects have changed and I capture so many dimensions of different genres, but the feeling when I enter a library always stays the same: I feel there are so many opportunities and new worlds to be discovered that I can spend hours roaming libraries. And I am such a book hoarder, there is this insatiable desire to have ALL of them, with the risk of not being able to read each and one of them. I just must have them.
I can safely say that the library is my temple, my church, the holy divine space where I can find peace.