I had a remarkable revelation last week. I realized that I want every place to be like the library. In particular, I want them to be the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library.
I always hated going to Blockbuster because I thought it should be like the library. I mean, browsing for books and browsing for videos are very similar activities, right? So the loud movie trailers playing on multiple tv screens and the persistent cries of, “Have you seen…. It’s awesome!” across the store always seemed out of place to me.
Where else but the library do you have so many people engaged in so many different activities so quietly. It’s magical. But it’s not just the quiet that makes the main branch of the library so great. It’s also the fact that you can see almost any kind of human you want to there. Young people, old people, people with homes, people without, etc., etc. Then of course, there is the fact that the library is full of information. I suppose every place is full of information these days, but there is something about print information that appeals to me.
So that’s what I want every place to be like: quiet, diverse and full of books, magazines and newspapers. I also like those big tables. Of course every place can’t be like that, but there are some that could, like airports, bookstores, my office, bus stops, buses, restaurants, bars. That would be a good start.