¡Hola amigos! ¿Cómo estás? No entiende mucho Español, pero ¿dónde la biblioteca?
Hi friends! How are you? I don’t know much Spanish, but where is the library?
I picked up some Spanish somewhere along the way in Los Angeles and Buenos Aires – and by that, I mean that I somehow managed to remember some of my favourite words – pollo (chicken), gatto (cat), perro (dog), baño (restroom), perdón (excuse me), puta (shit), madre (mother), and the absolutely awesome combo, puta madre (fuck you) – but what’s most beautiful is the way the word biblioteca (library) just rolls off the tongue, like silky webs of stories yet discovered, slipping off the hard edge of a wooden table.
Such a beautiful language – I should give studying it some serious thought once more.
library@orchard used to be a dimly-lit repository of books nestled at level 5 of Ngee Ann City. My most striking memory of the library was not of its interior, but of borrowing a book which fundamentally changed life as I knew it – Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World probed more questions than it answered; yet for a brief moment, the book quelled almost a decade of terrifying, endlessly isolating nights spent tormented over the eternal sleep which eventually besets us all – I suppose it was knowledge in the fact that I wasn’t alone in seeking meaning in what seemed to be a meaningless world. As a kid in my early teens, I didn’t fully comprehend the philosophical concepts put forth in the story; and truthfully, it’s been years since I pored through my copy of the book I purchased later on (and let go of even later on), but gazing at the cover had always calmed me, even years after I learnt to repress my demons.
I talked about writing this post with a colleague last week, and it so happened that she had a copy of The Books That Changed My Life: Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians, and Other Remarkable People on her person, which she immediately lent to me. It’s been a very insightful read, and I’m once again reminded of how #myjobisprettyawesome.
But enough about that. The new library@orchard now claims its home at level 3 & 4 of Orchard Gateway, the first mall library to boast two stories (geddit?). It’s a lifestyle and design niche library, with its interior design reflecting their semi-exclusive book collection. Just how much of an Instagram-worthy place is this library? Very much, it would seem. I’d been waiting to join the bandwagon for a long time now. Those weighted ladders~ ♡
I still can’t get over how cool our borrowing system has become. I remember coming back to Singapore in 2013 to a whole new sophisticated monster where I no longer had to scan the books in one by one (in 2011) – instead, the new RFID tagging system now allows me to stack up to six books on a platform easy-peasy. I’ve also been using my mobile app to borrow books lately, just because I’m too lazy to fish out my ID card. The extent to which our public libraries are technologically-savvy is pretty impressive. Me gusta.
Oh, I also brought Ottie to his very first Free Cone Day! Ottie’s not much of an ice cream person, and we joked about him joining the queue to get a second ice cream for me, but in the end he quite liked his Berry Berry Extraordinary – which was a good thing, because it was hot af and those things were melting fast:
Outfit photos assisted by Ottie.