The soul needs places where it can lose itself and feel at home. I often stumbled upon lonely readers somewhere all the way in the back of the sixth floor in the Library, hiding from the world, deeply drawn into the argument of a book, often smiling as they lose themselves and then resurface back into the presence of others.
We readers make silent bonds amongst each other when we sit for hours alongside one another, wondering where each other’s minds might be wandering at that moment. The howling winds we could often hear especially on the sixth floor, the floor of the splendid philosophy collection, was often the only thing reminding oneself of the fleeting world outside.
When night fell, after a day of reading and writing, I packed my bag, returned the books, wished good night to staff and security and off I walked home. In my early years in London I spent many a 'Dickensian' night walking all the way back from my humble oasis of quiet at Russell Square to my room in Whitechapel. I walked, as I couldn’t afford to travel by bus every night. But those walks to and from the library were inextricably part of my journey every day. I gathered my thoughts on my way to the library and back. The place where I wrote my MA thesis on Kant’s moral philosophy, where I came years later to finish my thesis on Heidegger and where I last year completed the manuscript for my first academic book.