Wilson library/U of M west bank
Biked to the library at the U and then, after I was done, biked home. Read more of the book Waterlog as I decide whether or not I want to buy it. I do. Sitting in the cold, quiet library, I was reminded of something I read last year in Gros’s A Philosophy of Walking. The author is discussing Nietzsche’s love of walking and his distrust of ideas conceived while sitting inside, especially in libraries:
many books exude the stuffy odour of libraries. But what does one judge a book? By its smell (and even more, as we shall see, by its cadence). Its smell: far too many books have the fusty odour of reading rooms, poorly ventilated. The air circulates badly between the shelves and becomes saturated with the scent of mildew, the slow decomposition of paper, ink undergoing chemical change.
I love libraries and their papery, decaying smells. And I especially enjoy coming to them to get lost in words and ideas and to retreat from the hot, summer sun. Today the library was cool and mostly quiet and a wonderful place to be. Perhaps it helped that I had moved quite a lot to get there?
Here’s another great quotation from Nietszche that I liked to remember:
How quickly we guess how someone has come by his ideas; whether it was while sitting in front of his inkwell, with a pinched belly, his head bowed low over the paper–in which case we are quickly finished with his book, too! Cramped intestines betray themselves–you can bet on that–no less than close air, closet ceilings, closet narrowness.