Why libraries are like swimming pools

My concentration span is ridiculous. Pathetic. Disastrous. My priorities are good, but not good enough – when I’ve got Internet, music becomes my priority, and nothing else. Or writing. Or checking 9gag. I know very well what to do in case I don’t want to work – which is often. I thought it was impossible to change that, until I made a radical decision:

I would go studying in the library.

Now, that was radical. Normally I like to eat and drink whenever I want, or I need music, or… No. I threw all excuses overboard and grew some balls. There I went, straight to the library, where it was bloody warm, but I sat near the window and put my books in front of me. Strangely enough, this actually worked. Or rather, I actually worked. By the time I left the library, I had seen quite a big part of what I still had to see that day. Without a break. I managed to keep on going for four hours straight, only looking up to see what other people were doing. Because, yeah, I still needed to know what was happening around me, you know. These things are important as well.

Then one day, I went to the library, fully prepared – not dressed all too warm because it’s really hot in there, but with a scarf and a big bottle of water. I sat down, put my books in front of me and suddenly felt something weird.

It felt like holiday. It smelt like swimming pools.

It took me a few minutes to figure out what this was. How can studying feel like being on a holiday? This wasn’t meant to be fun at all. So how could I smell swimming pools?

Is this a library?

Then I realized what it was. I don’t know if you, reader, have had the pleasure of going to hotels while on vacation? And if yes, did those hotels have swimming pools? Or did your camping place have one nearby? Because then you might know why I felt this weird way. You know, when you go to a hotel, there are many people you don’t know. In fact, you probably don’t know a single one of them (though sometimes you do – I’ve been there). But after a while, you recognise them and they start to feel so familiar. Even though you haven’t talked with them, it still feels as if they’re some kind of friends, or acquaintances. When it comes to the swimming pool though, you become enemies – everyone wants a good place there. Sometimes people put their towels on a sunlounger in the morning already, so their place is safe for the afternoon. You have to be in time to have a lounger there.

And that’s exactly how the library worked. I couldn’t study at my floor because there was too little space, so I sat in between people I didn’t know. After a while, after a day more precisely, they started feeling familiar. If you weren’t on time though, you might not have a seat where you normally sat.

Very swimming pool.

I like studying in a library. Because there are still people, because it makes you put on nice clothes, because there is barely anything else to pay attention to. Okay, I have to admit I saw every movement around me, and I mostly knew what the others were wearing, but next to that, I would really pay attention to my books. It made me feel better to actually do something. And it smelt like swimming pools. In some twisted way, that made it lighter…

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