Outside the air is fresh and warm, growing hotter by the minute. Inside the lights are dim and all about me is a cool blue dusk which looks almost as real as its natural counter part. There is a squeaking of wheels, the swish and thud of my hands moving over the bindings of books, and from the back office comes the muffled sound of voices.
I penetrate the blue stillness between the rows of books with my steadily marching hands. A: Allende Austen; B: Baldacci, Balzac, Brown - lots of Browns; C: Clancy, Crichton; D: Defoe. . .S: Steel, Steinbeck, Stevenson; T: Tanenbaum (Tanenbaum? Doesn't that mean "tree?"); W: Wilde, Wharton, Wodehouse - too bad we only own two volumes. With my hands busy my mind is left free to wander where it will. Sometimes it ambles idly over the spines of books: name, author - what a frightful shade of green. Sometimes it toys with the plot of a budding story; but it never gets very far with this, too much detail to mull over without pen and paper handy. Sometimes it develops conversations (or, more aptly termed, "confrontations"), dialogues, monologues, each unfolding like scenes from the most fantastical of soap operas.
Today I have brought headphones and Puck, Lysander, and Hippolyta are the fair companions of my mind's eye. Our library has a complete set of Shakespeare's unabridged works dramatized by the BBC, so it is in this way that I plan to spend the quiet hours hence. The quality of these CDs is exceptional and their true beauty lies in the fact that one is able to partake of first class "acting," music, and sound effects while still revelling in the language of the original play. I find, too, that I comprehend the story line far better with this audio than I do when reading a hard copy of the play. All too often the spelling and syntax of the words in front of me requires so much attention that I am swallowing sentences and pages without realizing where they came from or how they fit into the scope of things.
Time flies swiftly when in the company of books. The minutes swoop ever closer to the morning's end and before long I have shoved the last book onto the last shelf and wheeled the cart to a safe berth beside the back room shelves. I secure my bags and stride down the book-lined corridor to the back door. A swift breath, a steeling of the nerves, and I am out. The hot air folds around me in soft, stifling waves. I let the door clang to behind me. The blue peace is broken, the hot busyness of capricious life is begun.