All of my childhood dreams involved books. I know I’ve talked about this before, but if you’re new here, you might not know that I dictated my first “book” to my mom at age three. And subsequently illustrated it myself, because my desire for total creative control has been lifelong. In third grade, we were supposed to write one seasonal book, for Valentine’s Day or Easter. I wrote both, and a third one, too. Annual book writing projects were always a highlight for me at school – in later years, my stories grew longer and more complex than necessary (and usually involved me going to the Olympics. My obsession with gymnastics was serious.)
It wasn’t just about writing. In fifth grade, when we kept reading lists, I routinely read forty to fifty books every month. While gymnastics was the passion I would have professed to, words and stories were what really drove me. They still do.
It follows that The Library of Congress was at the top of my list of must-visit places in Washington DC. And although less of the library is publicly accessible than I had hoped – it is still a functioning research facility, and while I recognise that tourists walking through the reading room would be incredibly disruptive to the people who work there, I still wanted the opportunity to do so myself – it did not disappoint. From the imposing grey and copper facade to the sculpted marble interior, every detail was at once classical and opulent, eye-catching and subtle. The view of the reading room, from high above, mesmerized me. And while Thomas Jefferson remains one of my least favourite historical figures, never mind least favourite US presidents, I could have spent hours browsing the exhibit dedicated to his personal collection of books.
Back in fifth grade, when I was reading forty to fifty books every month, they were mostly from the Baby-Sitters Club series. I remember it being a bone of contention with some jealous classmates – clearly, they said, I was capable of reading more advanced books. Of course I was. But I loved Kristy and Mary-Anne and Dawn. And I embraced what I loved then, just as I embrace it now. I still love a good book. And I adored the Library of Congress.
#aritzia #paigedenim #christianlouboutin #anthropologie #allblackeverything