some things are hard to describe: the smell of old books, the sensation that overcomes me every time I step into the library. it is a place that is ever-changing; books pasted over with fresh alphabet stickers, slotted into age-old shelves which have seen their share of titles come and go. yet it is a place that radiates the same warmth, the same gentle noise of books knocking against shelves that is oddly comforting. books that I’ve seen hundreds of times from pre-teen years- the same blaring titles never fail to catch my eye, books of childhood past that I smile at upon seeing each time, books that I eventually pick up, books that i never do. things that make me wonder: strangers’ receipts pressed between the pages- did they get through the book or give up halfway like I sometimes do? I always decipher these half-faded names but never recognise any of them. there’s a whole library of books and I wonder if there’s an elusive book that my eyes skim across, that my fingers will always regret for not picking up, a book that I will absolutely love but never discover. I always thought that 9 was too early for the library to close, but I can’t change it. I will stay until five minutes before closing time, knowing that the automated announcement will prompt me when I need to leave, petering out with the remains of library-goers as the kind librarians stand at the doors and thank us for entering this place.