Once I was asked, in one of my English lessons, what paradise would look like for me
My answer was, and I still remember it until now,
“Paradise would look like a place filled with any book you could ever think of, any book you want to read, and you are free to read there as long as you want.”

Of course that sense of ‘paradise’ came to me when I was in Canada.
Regina Public Library and Archbishop M.C. O’Neill High School Library was awesome!
I got to read enormous amount of books -including the Gossip Girl series- for free, listened to loads of CDs -including reminiscing my childhood puppy love with The Moffatts– and watched too many DVDs -including 1984 and Serendipity.

I love the fact that I can get the newest released right away and read it in almost no time.
I remembered that I read one of the Princess Diaries in hardcover. A new library book. What an amazing feeling!

The thing is, Indonesia doesn’t really have library.
I mean, there are libraries in Indonesia, but come on.
Have you ever been to Indonesian library?
Who are you kidding, right?

For example, my university library, although it is located right in the campus, it looks as boring as these:

ITB Library

ITB Library from 8th floor

I think the purpose of library renovation a few years ago was to make it look futuristic.
In a way, it is kinda successful. I mean, I somehow have an idea in the back of my mind that the whole building will turn into a giant robot in a matter of time.
But come on, I didn’t even take any picture of the inside part of the library. The exterior of the building alone is enough to make you hesitate on going inside.
And when you finally enter the building, you would want to escape, as soon as possible.
It is dark, cold, very uninviting, and trust me, if you’re allergic to dust, do not go inside!!!

Then, of course, I come to London.
This sense of ‘paradise’ suddenly return in my favour.

My current university has several campuses around the city. A library is provided in almost every campus.
Before I talk about my main library, let me talk to you about the way to the library.

Yeah, sure I have to walk quite a ways (about 10 minutes) to get to the library, but who would want to complain if along the way you get to see this:

The Royal Courts of Justice

The Royal Courts of Justice, probably the most important building along Fleet Street.
And here is a glimpse of Fleet Street:

Fleet Street

Turning into Chancery Lane, behind all the other beautiful buildings, Maughan Library stood beautifully.

Maughan Library

This is one of my most visited buildings in the city.
I haven’t had a chance to take a picture of the inside, especially the beautiful Round Reading Room, because I don’t wanna look like a weirdo, taking pictures of everything in the library.
Despite the fact that they usually run out of copy for books that I need, I love the library.
I mean, scroll up to ITB Library then scroll down to Maughan Library.
Honestly, what do you think?

Other greatness of ‘paradise’ for me in London is the British Library.
I don’t mind it being kinda far from where I’m living now, I just love it.
I love the fact that I can request a book and someone will bring it down for me.
Although I cannot take any book home, the reading room is just perfect for me.

And of course, on the way to the library, I can always see the beautiful St. Pancras Hotel and if I’m in the mood, the Platform 9 3/4.
I love the fact that they put great quotes to welcome visitors, plus great gate at the very front:

And here is the awesome British Library:
(the building’s exterior is not so spectacular, but you can see a glimpse of St. Pancras Hotel at the back there.)

British Library

I now feel really lucky that I’m living within my sense of ‘paradise’.
I practically go to the library almost everyday, even on Saturdays, for at least 2 hours.

I seriously cannot wait until I have a loads of money of my own and build a legendary library in Indonesia, where everyone can read freely for as long as they want.
So that everyone can taste a bit of ‘paradise’ on earth, according to me.

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