Library Scenes/Bucket List Part 3

At Kitaabkhana, Mumbai.

At Kitaabkhana, Mumbai.

So today I went to the library to return my books. It was ‘Ignorance’ by Milan Kundera, in case you were wondering. In my last college the librarians were really rude and were always irritated at something or the other. When you asked them to find a book for you, they just sent you to some other person and so on. In this college, it’s sooo much different. Generally, there is a man sitting at the counter who is very pleasant and also talkative. He is the one I usually go to. Today, he wasn’t there. There was a woman instead. I told her I wanted to return the book, she asked me what the genre was and what the title meant. I was taken aback for a moment. I thought for a minute and then told her that how it meant ‘deliberately not knowing something’. She was intrigued. She then asked me to tell the story. I was never any good at verbal communication. I told her what I could. Storytelling is definitely not one of my strong points. Finally, after a conversation of five minutes she let me go.Β It was a good one too. I began contemplating her life, being a librarian, how amazing it must be. I was reminded of the time when there was a library behind my house when I lived in Bangalore. I could look at the numerous shelves of books through the window at the back of my house. I used to go there and issue books everyday, sometimes three times in a day! The librarian just let me sit there for hours and go through the shelves. It was one of the best times of my life. And then, we shifted to another place. All good things come to an end!

What I was getting at was that I have always wanted to be a librarian, or own a book shop. It would be heavenly, spending your whole day in a library. But I understand that you begin to hate whatever you invest too much time doing. So maybe a part-time job would suffice. And maybe I would sell the book-shop after a while. To quote Jorge Luis Borges: “I have always dreamt that Paradise will be a kind of Library”.

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18 comments

  1. As a Librarian I would like to apologise for the rude ones you have encountered. I swear to you we are not all like that. In fact at two different organisations I have worked at I was told I was always “extremely happy” and “too happy”, I think they were trying to get me to tone down my cheerful nature, but personally I took it as a complement. The library I now work at LOVES that about me which is fantastic.
    I have been working in libraries for over 5.5 years now and I am not sick of it yet, I hope I never do become sick of it. Like any job there are days where you are so happy to hit knock off time, but mostly I go home a happy chappy πŸ™‚
    I didn’t start my library degree until I was 24, luckily I got into a cadet program where you worked as a librarian for 3 years whilst doing your uni course (I know, so lucky right?!). What I mean by this is that it took me some time to follow my dream, but I have certainly not regretted it πŸ™‚ If it really is your dream I think you should go for it. We certainly need passionate people in this field and the degree qualifies you for so much more than just being a librarian.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad to hear that. The experience wasn’t that bad, it’s just that I don’t think people in India are as passionate about their job as you are. I don’t want to stereotype but that’s just what I have noticed in most of the places. Where are you from? It would be a pleasure to visit you sometime. Right now I am at a stage of life where I cannot pursue that career but maybe sometime later in life. Thanks for the encouragement, really. I will definitely give it a thought.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not sure if it differs depending on culture, I know sometimes the language barrier can be tough when you are in customer service though so you have to have patience and plans on how to approach it. We have a lot of non-English speakers living in our area and we use a lot of different ways to help them.
        I live in Sydney, Australia, I have come across a few grumpy librarians, but I suppose there are always a few in the group hahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. One of the things on my bucket list is to work at a library or bookstore at least for a little while.. I’m always jealous of the people who work there and sometimes I get pissed because they barely know anything about books or don’t appreciate them enough!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know, right? I dream about how there would be a carefully curated selection at my own bookstore in the future. But I have visited a few where people do take the effort to choose the best and the rarest of books, and these are mostly those small bookstores and not the commercial ones.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes I know! And I love Kitaab Khana!
          I’ve been there twice maybe and just the feel of the store.. Oh my!
          I could stay there forever!
          (A small confession: Lately, I don’t like Crossword much.. It’s just my personal opinion but I think they’ve sold out and are getting too commercialized- not that I don’t visit one if given the chance hehe- but it saddens me)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I was thinking exactly of crossword when I wrote my last comment!! The little bookstores I was talking about – there is one on hill road near Rude Lounge, really tiny but it has quite an impressive collection of books. Then there are those second hand bookstores which sell books really cheap and of course the Fort Bookstalls, it is my favourite haunt for books. You must visit it if you haven’t visited already. The booksellers there are the best. They know so much!! It’s unbelievable. But of course when it comes to bargaining, they won’t budge.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. I know what you mean about the people. I promise I am not one of them πŸ™‚ and I try to teach our patrons the value of books, online resources and what they can do with them as well as how to find reliable resources on the internet which is something that is not taught in schools here unfortunately.
        I grew up in the library I now work for, I studied for my HSC there so it feels like it’s come full circle πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

          1. πŸ™‚ It’s all good, I know you weren’t referring specifically to me. I just wanted to give you extra assurances hahaha.
            It’s unfortunate that they are like that. Hopefully they have enough good ones to balance it out πŸ™‚

            Like

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