On libraries

Feeling nostalgic for the Bodleian, here I turn to Charles Lamb, who wrote:

“What a place to be in is an old library!  It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labours to these Bodleians, were reposing here, as in some dormitory, or middle state.  I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade.  I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odour of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of those sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.” –Charles Lamb, from Oxford in the Vacation

 

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