Library Escapes

I love libraries. They have become my thinking sanctuaries. Whenever I want to get away from my usual routine, I head to the closest branch, find a spot, and sit and think.

Library nook

I’m always quite amazed at how big a difference a change in location can make. Being away from my normal environment helps break mental ruts.

Strangely enough, in college I couldn’t study in the library. A lack of familiarity with my surroundings made it distracting. Now it is that silent kind of distraction that I have been seeking.

Pen in hand, everything is possible! My next blog post or career hope or the bright shiny thing that will fully consume me … it is only a few ink scratches away. Blank pages without a purpose are liberating in these situations.

That is not to say that major revelations are made with each visit. On my latest trip, my mind was at its wandering best. I was near the travel section, with colorful books with exotic locations brandished on the spines. Instead of starting to plan my next adventure (which I desperately need!), my brain instead recited the ad slogan, “Wanna get away?” That was great until it was immediately followed by “Not going anywhere for a while?” The craziest thing is that I even  knew which companies those ads were for (Southwest Airlines and Snickers)!

All was not for naught during that last trip, however. Not only did I get this blog post out of it, I also took the time to do something I hadn’t done in more than a decade – draw. Growing up I’d always thought of myself as limited to stick figures. When I returned from England I took a drawing class, and the biggest thing I gained from it was the need to really look ,,, and practice. The practice part hasn’t worked out so well.

Although I steadfastly refuse to get rid of my art supplies, what did I use for my latest drawing practice?  My lined composition notebook.

Original Tammy Art

While I can see that the perspective isn’t quite right, when I showed it to DH2U, he could tell what it was. In my world that is drawing success! I also loved the feeling of concentration and really looking at an object. It’s not something that I regularly experience. The library really brings that out for me.

When was your last visit to a library? or Does anyone else get ad slogans randomly popping into their brains?

6 thoughts on “Library Escapes”

  1. Yes, I love libraries. Sometimes I even go a library just to see the library itself. Well, that’s not always true. Some libraries are kinda small and too boring to explore. But when you find a big one, they can be pretty awesome. The central library in Minneapolis is like that. It’s massive. There’s even artwork and a few statues to look at.


    1. We have a new main branch of our downtown library that is absolutely gorgeous. I could definitely spend hours in that facility looking at the architecture. If I’m ever in Minneapolis, I will go check out the library there. It sounds wonderful.


  2. I am a library groupie too, Tammy. We’ve been in Salem, Oregon for a while and it’s the weirdest library system I’ve come upon in our travels. I have to pay to park there and i have to pay to get a library card. Serously? So when I’m in Eugene visiting my son, I always want to make a stop at the library and use his library card to check out books. He kind of laughs at me, but he’s my son and he knows his mom. And it’s a beautiful library.

    I’ve been working on a magazine article about drawing, esp intuitive drawing – so it was so interesting that you included a drawing you did. Fits right into my theory that it’s good for us. I tried the Drawing on the Left Side of the Brain (or is it right side??? Doh!) course and it was very helpful. I’ve been starting to carry around my sketch pad again. And, by the way, just interviewed and got a copy of “Marking Marks.” Which is about intuitive drawing. Love it and its implications.


    1. How wonderful that your son understands you enough to simply hand over his library card. You raised him well.

      I also read that drawing book. I’m not sure how much it helped, but it at least gave me the inspiration to try it more frequently.


  3. Ahhh – so this is the drawing class! One we already discussed – I feel like I just time traveled. The other day I spent seven hours in the library. It was as good as Christmas. Loved, loved, loved it. You would be a friend I could do that with – we’d just say, “see you in a few hours in the café,” and then happily get lost in the books.


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