Tuesday, May 03, 2016

How cell phones and screaming babies have ‘killed’ those fortresses of solitude and silence that we used to call libraries.

At a very early age I fell in love with book libraries. My school, being a religion-based institution, had an awful library. It concentrated on the histories of those individuals they called ‘saints.’ It was a total waste of my time to go there. I was never very interested in religion.

But the Cuban dictator that used to rule the island of Cuba, for the benefit of the Yankees, did build a stupendous library in Havana. It was called the Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba. After Batista’s overthrow, I used to visit it a lot.

What I liked very much was the total silence that reigned there. People talked in whispers. You could hear a pin drop. You could concentrate on doing research and/or reading good books on all kinds of subjects.

Now, after the “invention” of cell phones and screaming babies, libraries have been ‘destroyed.’

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