“Please browse at your leisure.”
Isley Memorial Library
Ah, libraries! To be ensconsed in one whether it be rainy or sunny outside — how positively lovely! Here I am in in Middlebury, Vermont visiting Alex for a few days. Since he’s busy, I’m entertaining myself for a bit. After some window shopping and peaks inside of the cozy boutiques lining main street, I’ve popped into the town’s public library.
I’ve found some comfy chairs and all manner of inviting touches designed to appeal to an obsessive reader like me. Newspapers are displayed and ready to hand, magazines are laid out appealingly, and books of all shapes on all subjects are artfully arrayed — just as they should be. How delightful!
And wonder of wonders! What catches my eye but the very book I had been thinking about just recently and wanting to read: How to Live by Sarah Bakewell. It’s about the glorious writer Montaigne who’s widely credited with inventing the personal essay, and wrote gracefully crafted musings on hundreds of wildly different topics over his lifetime.
I settle myself into a comfy armchair by a picture window reading an evocative and entertaining book about a writer who inspired everyone from Flaubert to Virginia Woolf. I look outside and see leaves drifting down and realize in a flash, that I am perfectly happy. I am in a cozy library reading a wonderful book in a beautiful place. What could be more enjoyable than this?