There are times in most people’s lives when they just need to be a full-blown nerd. I mean this in the best possible way, because I truly believe there’s an inner geek in all of us and there are just some periods when this needs to rise to the surface. We as human beings need to embrace the fact that we have different interests and are curious beings.
For me it is more than most – since I was a child, I have loved the sanctuary that a library can provide. When I wanted to discover a new story, it was there. When I ran away from the hurt of friends being mean, it was there. And when I wanted to look in a Dutch-English dictionary and find the funniest-sounding words possible for a laugh, it was there.
Yes, I really did that – because I found it fascinating. Having grown up with a second language around me through some family members, the idea of different languages and how that shapes people is an interesting concept to me. And through that, travel guidebooks and hearing stories of faraway places, the library was a place to really fuel my interest in travel. I will say, world film also – I borrowed what I call ‘the Film Bible’ for two or three months before buying my own copy (1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die).
Today, the library is immortalised in popular culture as a place of wonder. Anything with a solid amount of wood and dimmed lights is deemed Harry Potter-esque – here in Adelaide we have the wonderful Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia fitting in that category. All of a sudden, the library is no longer limited to frazzled university students but home to people of all ages.
As an adult the library still holds that same sense of wonder. Particularly if you are a planner when travelling, as I am. Being able to not only gain important research, but also decide if it is worth it for me to buy a guidebook, is in all honesty a thrill that I am very grateful for. The fact that in Adelaide it is now so much easier to borrow items under the one card system adds to this, where you can request items and not have to have membership at a specific library branch.
Books, DVDs, language CDs, even language classes are accessible at libraries. The information at our disposal is crazy. And that’s before you use the internet! Here are a few other reasons why libraries inspire me with travel:
– Just looking at the travel section can get me thinking about where I might want to visit next. Places I’ve never considered before may just make their way on to my radar.
– Travel books are not limited to guidebooks either. Some fantastic travel writers like Bill Bryson and Frances Mayes can be encouraging of travel in a more dreamy, descriptive way to get you engaged.
– Libraries often have a cosy feel to them. My suburban library has recently been renovated to have comfortable research and reading spaces as well as allowing huge amounts of natural light into the building. Not to mention tea/coffee facilities! The Adelaide City Library is great too, with ongoing exhibitions often delving into destinations or cultures.
Have you ever found the library useful for planning your holidays? I would love to know in the comments section!
Missed the last post? Katina analysed the connections we make with others through online tours and talks!
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