Dreaming of Libraries
I’ve always, always, always loved to read. Growing up, whenever I had a bit of money, I would spend it all on books by Shel Silverstein, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Dr. Seuss, Francine Pascal, Stephen King and the comics of Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, Archie, MAD Magazine and The Far Side. When my family and I lived in Los Angeles, I would frequent the public library and enjoyed the whole process of borrowing as many books as I could on my own library card, then returning them and borrowing new ones. Reading books meant going on new adventures, meeting new people, falling in love and dreaming of faraway places I would one day see in real life.
When I moved to Manila, sadly there was no library to visit. When I was 9 I could only go to National Bookstore in Greenbelt with my dad every Saturday and he would buy me a new book or comic, followed by merienda at the Filipino café, Via Mare.
I had an ex-boyfriend who went to the University of South California and when I would visit him on campus I would hang out in their beautiful library until he was done with classes. Aside from a huge array of books and recent magazines, they had a listening station where you could listen to the latest CDs or audio files for research. They also had computers you could use to write term papers and for email. It was so much nicer than my own alma mater University of the Philippines Diliman’s library with its dusty books and outdated periodicals.
Fast forward to today. Though we have plenty of books that are now available for sale in the bookstores, I am dreaming of that California public library and bemoan the fact that my 9-year-old son Enzo hates to read and would instead rather play on his iPad. Maybe if we had a beautiful public library, he and kids his age would enjoy the process of reading more. A public library where there could be story-telling sessions for children, talks by new authors on their latest novels for adults and generally a place where families could gather for research or leisure. Until then, hope you will also enjoy this post and these 25 gorgeous public libraries found elsewhere in the world.
May all your gypsetting dreams come true, Vicki
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.