My library is a grand, majestic building in the midst of the city. The names of all the great thinkers are carved above the front portico, Aristotle center among them, because the engraver made a mistake. Also it should be Plato, with a ‘t.’ All citizens are welcome in my library, but only serious readers dare enter, and also the building is unfortunately not handicap accessible.
When you enter my library, you will be standing in the marble lobby which was donated by a very wealthy family, who if you see them, please tell them the library is a hospital. The reading room is a cavernous chamber on the second floor, tastefully but impressively furnished with mahogany tables and oriental rugs, though please bring your own chair, and a surgical mask. Nestled in the stacks you will find my private office. This is my ‘sanctuary’ which I use for quiet contemplation and to escape extradition.
We do things a little differently in my library. No computers for us, just an old-fashioned card catalog run by an army of robots. We also have one computer room, for porn. We trust our patrons, so there are no overdue fines except under one of two circumstances: 1) the book is recalled, or 2) the book is our Gutenberg Bible. The library is open twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, except Presidents Day (we’re not heathens!). There is no children’s section in my library and children are not welcome, except on Wednesdays when we open up the indoor theme park and they just love it.
The books in my library are arranged in alphabetical order–no fancy-shmancy Dewey Decimal System here–and then shelved according to year of publisher’s founder’s birth. Our collection contains a copy of every book ever published and, just as in the Library of Congress, each book is stamped “Library of Congress.” We have two copies of Moby Dick, lest we forget the perils of whaling. All tolled, the library contains over sixteen million items, not all of which are books! Mostly they are dust mites.
In many ways though, my library is very much like others. Everyone maintains respectful quiet at all times, and even though Thursday night is mud-wrestling night, it is quiet mud-wrestling. Like other libraries, mine has faced its share of setbacks over the years. We had a terrible fire in 1970 and, ironically, the library’s only copy of Jack London’s To Build a Fire was lost, along with approximately four million other volumes.
I hope you will enjoy your next book at my library! Or at the very least, that you will send me some money for no reason.