Wednesday, January 07, 2009

In the library

I spent some time in the university library on the Saturday after all the students were gone, and the campus was virtually deserted. It was a strange experience walking the stacks, knowing I was probably the only person on the entire fourth floor of the library.

I walked between bookshelves and past bookshelves. I saw the sunlight stream through the arched windows of the fourth floor; it fell on vacant study tables. I paused in the history section, looking for Harry Caudill's Night comes to the Cumberlands and tarried there, distracted by the other books there. The silence was absolute, except for the shuffle of papers as I opened a book, a cough, the whisk of my pants as I walked.

The silence was absolute, but the volume of books filled that gap.

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