Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wellness Activity: Visiting Libraries

I love libraries. More than 30 years ago, I went to Manhattan for the first time on business. And one of my goals--for pleasure--was to go to the Humanities and Social Sciences Library to see the two famous stone lions, Patience and Fortitude, that guard it, as well as the main reading room.

Over the weekend, I went to the Beverly Hills Library, which is my favorite library in Los Angeles. Of course, I go to check out books, and they have a terrific collection. But, what makes it special is the architecture. It's right behind the City Hall, which is a real treasure.

Actually, I'd intended to write about some of the books I picked up. But, it's kind of fun to post about places I enjoy going.

P.S. When I was responding to CK's comment, I realized that I had loved visiting The Morgan Library & Museum as well. And I never thought to ask: If you have a favorite library, share the link with us. It would be fun to fantasize about seeing new places...if only in our minds.

A Caveat: I posted this piece early in the morning. But this afternoon I realized that for new readers, I may have to explain why I write about wellness activities that would seem to have nothing to do with bipolarity or any other medical malady. That will be the topic of tomorrow's post.


Paula Joy said...

NICE pictures!! I have NEVER been in a library that big! Looks like the ones I see in the movies!

The picture of City Hall is GREAT!!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Paula Joy,
Actually, I had seen the New York Public Library in many movies before visiting it in person.

And while the Beverly Hills Library is big, it's not in the City Hall building, but in a smaller building behind it. I just couldn't find a good exterior image of the building itself. And the lighting for the interior shot is off; it's got great natural light.

My neighborhood library is much smaller, and their selection of books is disappointing. But the Beverly Hills Library, which is about 15 minutes away, is "free." I feel it's one of the best free things in town.


duanesherry1 said...


I like libraries too!

We were in a small town a couple of weeks ago....A man had taken a turn-of-the century silent movie house, and converted it into a bookstore. He had some old classics....My son and I walked around, and he found some Steinbeck - one of my favorites....

He's building up a collection of old books - has been for quite some time....He loves to read....We all do.

Our family enjoys going to the library - our local branch has all kinds of light - big windows - one overlooks a small lake the city built - nice comfortable chairs to read while looking out the window....I like to go there by myself during the day sometimes.

There is something special about libraries - I like the small, quaint ones sometimes, along with the large ones where a person can find all kinds of things!


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Duane,
Another thing we have in common. I think that's so great about your son. When I wrote my parenting book, I learned that the main reason children learn to love reading is because they see their parents read. But to be a collector, that's kind of special!

I can't imagine how nice it would be to have a small library overlooking a lake.

Because of the size of Los Angeles, a lot of the libraries are big--and many of the newer ones are so institutional looking.

It must be fun to go to a small library with charm.


Catatonic Kid said...

I'm a library fan too, Susan. The NYC Humanities and Social Sciences Library rocks... so many cool little hidey holes and they always have great exhibitions...

But apart from everything else libraries just feel great 'eh. Books everywhere *sigh* yes, happy places :)

Wellness Writer said...

Dear CK,
Of course I knew you would be a fan. I only went that one time, so I didn't see all the little hidey holes, and it was so many years ago.

On another trip, I saw the Morgan Library and Museum and really liked it because it was so small and intimate.


Gianna said...

I like libraries too and actually my last job, after going on disability was working in my little rural library which was actually a beautifully designed new building and a wonderful space to work in...

I liked calling myself a librarian even if it was only very part time.

Wellness Writer said...

Isn't it nice that we all share this love of libraries? When we write about illness and wellness, it would seem like that's all we're about...when there is so much more!


marja said...

I've always thought that libraries are the best deal ever. What a wonderful thing to be able to have our choice of thousands of books to read, absolutely free of charge!

My son grew up loving books because I read to him every night until he was seven years old. Now - although he has a well paying home business - he still likes to work at the library on a part-time basis. He just likes to be around the books and the people who love them.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
Another kindred spirit, and I would have sensed that in you as well. I, too, read aloud to my son for years because I enjoyed doing it, and he enjoyed it as well.

Isn't that nice that your adult son so loves books? It's truly a wonderful quality, and I would agree that it's just a nice place in which to spend time.


Emma said...

Dear Susan,
After two years I finally unpacked my computer from its box, and have been slowly exploring internet, and learning the finer points of email! I have only recently discovered your blog, but thank you so much for deciding to continue to write and share. I too, love to read, and possibly the most painful times have been when it simply has not been possible. I am fortunate to have a dear little local library at the bottom of the hill from where I live. My dog is happy to sit outside watching the seagulls whilst I browse inside. She is very patient, gently wagging her tail in greeting to neighbours. A woof is the reminder that it is now time to finish her walk!
Every good wish Emma

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Emma,
Welcome to my blog, and thank you for thanking me. One of the joys of writing is to be able to reach out to new friends--and old ones--and share our passions and interests.

Yes, I do understand those times when it is impossible to read, and how very painful that is.

The thought of having a "dear little library" that is so close is a lovely image to think about. And to have your dog as your companion waiting for you outside makes me smile!

Again, welcome!


Howard said...

Great post, Susan. I, too, love libraries. We had a nice one in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA; and my favorites now are the big NYPL (with your lions) and also SIBL (the Science, Industry, and Business Library), in the old Altman's on 34th St, which is great for quiet research.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Howard,
Of course I somehow knew you would love libraries too. I'll have to check out online the two libraries you mention. I think my husband knows about the old Altman's.

The idea of a small library in Manchester-by-the-Sea sounds so very appealing as well!


Howard said...

My guess, too, is that John Updike frequented the Manchester one more than once, since he lived only six or so miles away in Beverly Farms, MA.

Wellness Writer said...

It's nice to think that you and John Updike shared the same library, isn't it?