The Library of Princeton University - A Paradise!

Few more hours and 2014 will bid adieu to 2013. Time for new resolutions and new dreams.

I believe one of the finest blessings of our existence is the ability to read and gain knowledge. To me books are my most precious companion, powerful solace and my true delight. I always exchange my vacant, intellectual and blank solitudes with books and only books (though nowadays with my kindle - thanks to the technology)!!

Today I decided to take my readers to a paradise where the most precious treasure is knowledge. Come and explore with me the main library of Princeton University (also called the Firestone Library) - an abode of books.

Before entering inside the library, I came across a tranquil place, just opposite to the library entrance, where one can sit on the bench and can spend hours thinking about the quotation engraved on the ground. I am no exception and preserved the silence of that place inside me.

           " How happy is he born and taught
            That serveth not another's will;
            Whose armour is his honest thought 
            And simple truth his utmost skill "
            by  Sir H.Wotton

I must thank Siddhartha, who is an alumnus of Princeton University and because of whom I got a chance to enter the library and realized, how a paradise would look like! On entering the main library hall, I noticed the inspiring sentence written on a wooden plank.

"This hall leading to the endless opportunities and challenges residing in books, is the joint gift of seven classes".

The entrance to the main library hall

I must say, the main library hall has something in it. The attraction of the silent hall knew no bounds. The countless books, the smell of old wooden furniture and the serious students researching and reading books, all united to create an atmosphere which is very hard to leave. Lucky were those students who were sitting amidst the greatest treasures of this mortal world and had no hurry to catch the train to New York!!

Main Hall

Other floors of the library

When I went to the other floors, my only feeling was to sit on a quiet table and start reading. The most memorable place which will inspire me silently forever. I would love to share with my readers, the quotation by Gilbert Highet which has always inspired me and remained one among my favorites!

" These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice and is just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart ".

I have seen books in Chinese, Russian, French and even in Bengali (my mother tongue). The library has millions of books and also possesses some very old books (more than two hundred years old!), neatly preserved in the shelves. All the floors have the lovely smell of books. Indeed it is a heaven for those who seek knowledge.

With this post of mine, I am sure by now my readers have understood my wish and message to them for 2014. Time is less and there are so many things to know and realize. Happy new year to all of you and as the French say Bonne Annee!

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