A Haven for Book Lovers

I am just a girl who loves reading and talking about books

A Haven for Book Lovers

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
― Mark Twain

The first library that I visited was somewhere in Embakasi back in the early 90’s. I don’t remember much about the building but I do recall that the library belonged to a Catholic Church. As an 8 year old, I thought that it was an incredible place. To me, It was like taking a trip to Disney World. At that age, I still loved the Ladybird book series and spent hours reading them. My favorite books were Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
I used to walk out of the library with a borrowed book hidden under my shirt lest a bully (imagined) saw me and stole my book (real…um imagined fears). I was a troublemaker back then and I guess that is why I was nicknamed Deedee.deedee I used to do a lot of annoying things just to get a reaction from the other kids. My favorite irksome habit was singing silly name songs at the top of my voice (Georgie, Porgie was my favorite one). I have two brothers who had numerous friends (of course), this was like having my own army which gave me the bravado to bug others.


girl reading
Anyway, I digress. I loved the library. My routine was to borrow books, read and return them. I then asked my parents to buy me the same books which I reread before adding them to my secret stash of books.

girl reading 2.jpg
It’s at this time that I eventually graduated from storybooks to reading novels. My first novels were; The Client by John Grisham, The River Between by Ngugi Wa Thiongo and My life in Crime by John Kiriamiti

The library at my former high school had Pacesetter collection which I read with gusto. I used to hide them under my desk and read them in class and sometimes at night in bed under the covers with a torch illuminating the pages. The school library was not so well stocked though and so the students had to sneak around books like contraband. Good times!


high school reading

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”

[Letters of Note; Troy (MI, USA) Public Library, 1971]”
― E.B. White

Bishop Okullu Memorial Library

Years later, I finally found my favorite library and book spot. It is big, beautiful and right at the center of my place of work. This is one of my favorite places and not just at work. This library is always quiet and cool even on the hottest days.


There is something magical about going through its doors and up the stairways.IMG_20160204_122203

My heart always races with anticipation as I get closer to my favorite section of the library. From habit, I never check the catalog in advance (there is no fun in that). The excitement lies in making new discoveries. I always take time to go through the book shelves, reading blurbs and occasionally hugging and smelling books that I have been looking for. Yes, normal people do that.

“I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”
― Roger Zelazny, Nine Princes in Amber


Today I went to the library and found some gems that I have now added to my reading list. Here they are:

“Libraries really are wonderful. They’re better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.”
― Jo Walton, Among Others

13 comments on “A Haven for Book Lovers

  1. abuamirah
    February 8, 2016

    Goodness, i haven’t visited a library in a very looooooong time. unfortunately there are very few of them in Mombasa!

    • Diana
      February 9, 2016

      You are missing out Abu but unfortunately, there are not too many libraries in Kenya in general.

  2. I LOVE this post! Some of my fondest childhood memories involve visiting our town’s library with my dad every Saturday morning. It’s why I became a children’s librarian.😊📖📚

    • Diana
      February 10, 2016

      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      Perhaps one day, you can write something about those Saturday morning visits and your impression of the library. I would love to read that.

      PS:Your job sounds really good.

  3. Leroy Mwasaru
    February 14, 2016

    Eerily cogent!

    • Diana
      February 15, 2016

      Thank you Leroy 🙂

  4. Feistyanonymous
    February 16, 2016

    The smell of a library is my favorite. Where is this library?? I want to visit

  5. Feistyanonymous
    February 16, 2016

    The smell of a library is my favorite… I got an e-reader a few years ago and started having nightmares that libraries would disappear 😦 where is the one you photographed, I am in Nairobi and want to go!!

    • Diana
      February 17, 2016

      Haha what a nightmare!I cannot imagine a world without a library. The library is at St. Paul’s University.

  6. nessa shera
    February 18, 2016

    haha….visiting a library at 8…haha…you make my childhood self look bad…wasn’t much of a fan of books then..:)….awesome post…

  7. Diana
    February 18, 2016

    you mentioned then…guess/hopefully you are now a fan?:-)

    Thank you.Glad you enjoyed the post.

  8. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Delightful Bookworm Things/Experiences – Voices in my head

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