Not long ago, I was visiting an assisted living home and was getting a little tour of the place. To my surprise, they had a beautiful little library! There were custom-built bookshelves that had been painted white, a departure from the usual industrial-looking shelves found in most libraries. There was a librarian’s desk with a type-writer to make spine labels for the books, and a box to put your check-out cards in.
Opposite the desk was an old-fashioned wooden return box with a mail-type slot that you could slide the books into. The paint around the slot was worn, and I could imagine the many books that had slid over the wood and rubbed off the surface. Behind the book drop was a table with books for sale, and some chairs to sit in while you browsed.
Everything was neat and organized, as a good library should be. Not one thing was out of place! Ah, I thought, how wonderful it would be to explore the shelves, open a card catalog drawer, pull out a few books, sink into a comfy chair, and read in peace. But the tour moved on, so with reluctance I turned my back on the sweet spot of the library, and walked on.