TL;DR – Hi, I’m a library-loving introvert.
Libraries are brilliant. Library cards are like credit cards, but not. So now every trip to the library feels like a shopping spree that ends in bags full of books. But when I made my way over to the neighbourhood library one day, I found its shutters down and gates locked. In that few moments while I stood at the restricted entrance of the library, I drew a blank. What?! HELP! What am I supposed to do with my time now? Where else am I to go when I need some quiet? How am I going to survive the few months without a library?
Before further implying that I lead neither a rational nor socially acceptable life, let’s put things in context. I am an introvert and I’m proud to be one. The library is a place where I go to spend time on my own, while having something meaningful to do…like spending an hour browsing through 64 books and finally deciding on 5. Hang on, I’m not sure if that analogy’s constructive at all but yeah, #DatIntrovertLyfe. Fortunately for me, that aforementioned library has since re-opened and this significant event led me to ponder over the library’s importance in my semi-reclusive existence.
Introverts in The Library
Here’s what we’re like: not all introverts hate people. Unless you give us reason to. And not all introverts fear people. Though yes, most of us are reserved. We spend lots more time in our heads so a pre-emptive gesture that allows us time to psyche ourselves up before speaking up would be excellent. We love spending meaningful time with people who matter but we also need to retreat into our quiet corners to recharge.
And that’s why libraries are a relief. Not conclusive enough? Let me explain further.
The library is, to me,
1. A place to rest, retreat and recharge
Some days, conversations don’t work for me and I appreciate the quiet by going to the library to be with myself. Think about it – the library is one giant rest area; I can pop my music on, catch up on the news and I get to indulge in stories fictional or otherwise. If I’m going to spend a lot of time in my head, I might as well do it outdoors (well, kind of). The library means that I’ve now a place where I won’t be judged for being ‘antisocial’.
2. A place of imagination
A quiet space is great for the mind to work its magic. It means that I’m able to get out of the house and restore some sanity by being in my own bubble and just enjoy literature. At the library, my mind is constantly on a creative roll. It’s sieving through books, reading synopsises and imagining worlds; it’s thriving. It could be fantasy, romance, junior picture books or even coffee table reads. This means a lot to the introverted bookworm.
3. An interim point
Public libraries are the best. Shopping malls are within walking distance and the bustling heartland community is as vibrant as it can get. The library’s prime location makes it a good ‘waiting place’, or a meeting point. So, I don’t have to hang around crowds, walk mindlessly in the malls or spend at cafes while waiting for friends to arrive for an appointment. This means that my time is being used efficiently, I’m away from crowds, I get to scour for more books, I’m literally in a good place and I’m happy. And when I’m happy, I probably won’t even notice that you’re an hour late.
4. A happy welcome
Ah, library love. For introverts of my kind, it’s bliss; we leave the house to basically arrive at another building for the sole intention of being on our own. We get to be around people, but no with people. Strange, but that’s how we roll.
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