library shout-out / reading

Book Bits: The Ballad of Black Tom

Imagine a strip of medical tape with the adhesive gum on one side. Then a tiny ball of cloth is dropped onto the center of that tape. My library is that ball of cloth in what we call normal time and space. It is affixed to one place, one plane. But then imagine crumpling the adhesive tape tight in your fist. The ball of cloth now touches not just one surface, but many. In this way my library travels beyond human perceptions, human limitations of space, and even time.

In the passage above, Robert Sudyham is trying to explain to Tommy Tester about the wonders of his library in Victor Lavalle’s novella, The Ballad of Black Tom

I love that the fantastical part of Sudyham’s home is in his library. I mean, isn’t that truly the power of the library? To put you within reach of spaces that are new, ancient, tragic, or spectacular. To remove you from the linear time that you have grown accustomed. To be able to touch everything, and anything. 

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5 thoughts on “Book Bits: The Ballad of Black Tom

  1. Pingback: Book Bits: The Ballad of Black Tom — Highly Textured Librarian | The Eclectic Kitabu Project

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