And yet the books: remembering Widener’s reading room

Ode2Widener2Harvard’s Widener Library will soon celebrate its centennial. This new video, “Ode to a venerable library,” set me remembering the days when, as a painfully reclusive high school student from a nearby suburb, I would skip school, furtively hop on the local bus into Harvard Square, and come to sit in the main reading room (above) to do my homework, research papers, and read. In those far-off days you did not need an ID to get into the Reading Room (though you did need one for the stacks). Never in all those long hours did I think of actually applying to the school for college: it was a place for the angels. But oh, the joy of watching them dance in the morning light and pages of those walls…

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