I went to the Mini-Maker Faire in Cleveland last week, which I’ll blog about later. It was housed in the Cleveland Public Library.  I love the classic architecture of the building.
I love the scent of an old library like this. It instantly brings me back to my smaller branch library in Cleveland. I don’t know if it’s the scent of the old books, the tables, polish, or a combination of all of them, but the scent and associated memories enfold me with warmth.
The newer libraries I frequent do not have that classic scent. Nevertheless, a library is meant to be explored. 
At my daughter’s college orientation, one of the (many) speeches we sat through included one in which the students were urged to “wander the stacks.” I loved this advice. In college, and in much of life, we are consumed with following a path to a destination. But when you walk among the stacks, your mind can be challenged, piqued, or urged to examine something a little more closely.
Maker Faire was housed in the library annex. We wandered the displays and then wandered the stacks. A dangerous proposition….as we walked out with a lot of books!

Cleveland’s Terminal Tower

Last week we went to Columbus to see (and hear) my son’s recital. He was tied up with classes the next day so we agreed to meet at Thurman’s in German Village for a late lunch. This little bar is known for its burgers and they did not disappoint! There is typically a long wait, so we put our name in and walked the lovely neighborhood of German Village.  I didn’t strap on my camera as it was a damp, misty day, but it is definitely a place I would love to photograph!

We stumbled on the Book Loft, an amazing little bookstore with 32 rooms! Some of those rooms are narrow hallways. We wandered through the rooms, many of which had different music playing in them, and added books to our basket. We were asked, finally, if we needed a second basket! We were there at least an hour when our son called. His class ended a little bit early and he was at the restaurant. We had only made it through half of the bookstore! Reluctantly, we paid for our books and hauled probably 20 pounds the nine blocks back to the restaurant! (That’s a good thing as their standard burgers are 3/4 pounds!)

My daughter was heading to Columbus a few days after us and was sure to add the Book Loft to her list of stops. I find great pleasure in wandering around a bookstore like this. There was a lot of bargain books, but new books as well. In a library or bookstore, I always stop by the crafts section. I usually am drawn to knitting books.

My husband bought me the classic Alice Starmore book “Aran Knitting.” I had checked this book out of our local library tons of times. It was out of print for years and you would find it online for sale for over $200. I had heard that it was being re-released but had forgotten about it until I stumbled upon it. I love looking at the pictures, reading the history and dreaming about knitting one some day.

I often come home with more than I can consume in a typical library lending period. But I enjoy the inspiration and if I find a book I really want, I add it to my “to read” list and look for it later or I buy it.

I don’t think I could be happier than when I am wandering the stack of a library or bookstore. What about you? Do you like to wander the stacks? What section draws you in?