It’s been ages since I was last in a library. When I was a teenager I had two library memberships – one was a very small collection above a supermarket (which was then the only actual supermarket in the city and hence we went there once a week) and the other was a proper library with a solid collection of books, occupying a half floor of a building. The one above the supermarket had to share it’s space (all 4 large shelves of books) with a video tape rental, a dry cleaners, a gift shop and an ice cream parlour.
From the age of 12 till 17 I used to go to the small library and rent a couple of novels for a week or two and return the books always well in advance. Their selections were poor but for a bookworm like me that was the only real place I had to go. Until I joined Elloor lending library which was near three major colleges in the city and hence always have a heavy flow of students who also liked to read coming and going at all hours of the day. I used to love this library because they had very cheap membership fees but had an awesome collection. I used to rent 2 to 3 big novels, a bunch of Archies comics and maybe a Tintin or Astrix ever two weeks from the age of 17 till 20. I loved reading and since there was no internet at the time reading was the major way I spent most of my free time.
Also I had a girlfriend at the time and we used to plan our meetings at the library, spend an hour there and then go to one of the ice cream parlours that served as the only meeting place for young lovers to spend some quality time (wink, wink) with each other during those years. Ofcourse after the year 2000 the number of such places to hang out mushroomed, making me think that if only I was born a few years later! Anyways, I haven’t been to a library since 1999 when I was 23 and I went and cancelled my membership as I didn’t want the yearly fees to be incurred. I started buying more novels and trying to maintain a good home library.