There is a place in Cambridge Ma where bright ideas wait for us like prisoners awaiting release of sentence among steal gray, shelved cells. We served as parole board granting release for behaviors be they good or bad, delightful or scary, funny or tragic, any or all which serves our desire.
Before the renovation in the 1960’s access to this subterranean catacomb of wonder was restricted. The key to the treasures within were description codes in card catalogues, submitted to the seekers who surfaced like deep sea treasure hunters with sunken treasures.
Post renovation emancipated the stacks enabling us to become the seekers as “The Stacks” open up this library of imagination freeing us from the card catalogue and Dewy’s decimal system. We roamed freely albeit quietly among each level, row and shelve. Ideas screammed out to us as we passed their entitled jackets. Choose me, choose me if you dare to wager your time and curiosity.
Young and starved for time I’d make several choices based solely on the opening paragraph and title. Fingering through the pages like penny candy skipping the bubble gum and hunting for the all day suckers. Once the book was selected I start my days work…. consumption.
Reading in the stacks below street level is a place where books invade your mind. Ideas excite our imagination and produce reaction. We wonder at times about the author …. who is she/he….what possessed them to write this book…. how are they able to capture such emotion into words???? It’s in that digression where the book is judging us back…what made him/her choose me …..how are my words impacting them…… will my future endeavors warrant visitation ????
I don’t know if the stacks of the Cambridge Public Library still exist. What I do know is ….In my mind …I think of the times spent below ground… amid ideas with sentences …. and I am thankful for books and for the stacks where they live.