When choosing for books, I tend to opt for the thicker novels that are incredibly DNM (deep & meaningful, fyi). I like to escape from reality through the passage of words, similes and alliteration into a parallel world, where fantasy and dreams have no limits and time appears to be infinite. So it's fair to say that short stories and I hardly ever join hands and walk in unison. But there are, on certain and random occasions, that I go out of my comfort zone to try something new. And in this case, it was the colorful cover and interesting title, The Library of Unrequited Love, of Sophie Divry's soliloquy that caught my attention.
It's not a long read. In fact, I finished reading it on my train journey up to Newcastle today. There are no chapters, just words, structured in one long continuous paragraph lasting for, I repeat, 92 pages. It's not particularly happy, nor particularly sad. I think the best way to describe it was that it was expressive and slightly philosophical. It essentially focuses on a conversation between the narrator, who is a librarian, and the reader (i.e. yourself) who assumes the role of a male that has been locked in the library overnight. It's critical, sharp and crisp. You're basically left to hear about the librarian's outrage and criticism of modern-day politics, the Dewey Decimal System's pros and cons, and, at times, her grumpiness towards the (unpleasant) manners of those that visit the library. On a sweeter side, you learn about her unrequited love for Martin, a researcher who she deems has a "beautiful" neck.
I'll agree - it's quite a lot to fit on just 92 pages isn't it?
Was I happy, moved or upset? Not at all. In truth, I felt quite neutral after reading Divry's work. It's not the usual happily ever after fairy-tale story that I tend to lean towards. Nevertheless, it was certainly interesting to see what exactly goes on in the mind of the silent but ever-present librarian.
Looking Glass Books - Edinburgh
|Lunchtime at Looking Glass Books|
The original home of my copy of The Library of Unrequited Love. A coffee, gift and book shop, I think you'd be absolutely MAD if you weren't attracted to some aspect of this lovely boutique. With an atmosphere created by the smell of freshly-made coffee, checkered tables, and teal and purple felt sofas, visitors can comfortably tuck into a delicious sandwich and/or cake whilst devouring a good read from an eclectic range of literature.
Tempted? You'd better be.