Missing libraries

At a speech marking the 75th anniversary of Princeton’s Firestone Library, Toni Morrison conceded “that technology allows easier access to information and that she herself uses the Internet often,” but said she was wistful for the days of wandering through aisles and “discovering books on shelves or collections where you believe no one, or very few, have gone before.”

Like my friend Terry, I can’t remember my last visit to the library. But as an undergraduate, back in Florida, I spent day after day sitting in the stacks at the Smathers library, reading Flannery O’Connor and Edward Gorey instead of studying, and breathing in the musty smell of books until the janitor kicked me out night.

What’s the modern-day equivalent of that, I wonder?


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