The Perfect Library (2)

They tell me the library can be located behind the bright green gates. I wouldn’t have guessed it otherwise. There is no sign that reads ‘library’. There is no indication at all. Nothing invites you beyond those gates except your own curiosity.

Then again, why wouldn’t you be curious? Beyond the gates is a large garden; in the centre of the garden an octagonal lake. The garden is populated by flowerbeds, bushes and trees. To the left of the lake a winding path leads you towards a significantly sizeable steel structure. It strikes you as something in-between a warehouse and a greenhouse. It is, in fact, the Perfect Library.

Before you get to the building, you take a wander around the gardens. Not everything is as it seems. There are books in unexpected places. Books laid out on the grass, like sunbathers. Some faced upwards, some downwards; others on their sides, pressed down into the turf. Books sheltering in the shade of a small shrubbery, or up on the branches of trees. Books sitting on park benches, like old men, or under them, like patient dogs. Books in boats, floating across the lake. Some books in the lake, enjoying a morning swim.

You kneel down by the water’s edge, dip your hand into the glassy depths, and lift a book dripping into the sunlight. The book is well-made and hasn’t suffered unduly from its underwater adventures. You can still peel the soaked pages apart. Sometimes it’s good to get your fingers wet. So what if there’s a ribbon of pond-weed trapped between pages thirteen and fourteen? You can always use it as a book-mark…


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