There’s a certain calm feeling, whenever I walk into a library. It’s as if the books form a blanket, snugly wrapped around me and I feel safe. In that cocoon of serenity, no one can hurt me.

Maybe, that’s the reason why I’m dead set on building a library.

When I say “I’m building a library”, I do not mean any woodcraft in any sense. It’s not a DIY project I’m undertaking. It’s more of something else, but we’ll get to that later.

I’ve been doing it since I was 8.

Of course, at that time, it was a slow process. Waiting for each birthday, trying to outscore class mates, and acing exams, just to get a chance of having another sought-for book. Then, came my teenage years, and I got more chances with an upsurge in my allowance. You know what they say, with great responsibilities, come great spending. So, when other girls were trying out clothes, I was perusing the book section of the store. Instead of getting the latest hand bags, I was buying bags of books. I started to slow down though, when my mom stepped in and strongly advised me to find a balance (I really had to buy a new bag, the years and books were tearing all of my bags apart).

Over the years, people have laughed and joked about my fascination with having a library. My collection amused and confused them. Some had even joked that I could start my very own bonfire or sell it for a cheap buck or two. I simply smiled and laughed along.

They just simply didn’t understand why.

Some people wonder, why I do not venture into e-books instead of print. It’s cheaper, lighter and doesn’t use up as much physical space as books do. That’s all true, but to these suggestions, I politely laugh and shake my head.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against e-books. Once in a while, I read an e-book and scroll through online fiction for kicks. However, despite all of the perks of using e-books instead of prints, I’ve always found myself drawn to actual books.

Maybe it’s the scent of ink on the aged paper, or the weight of a book in my hand but nothing (in my opinion) could replace an actual book. There is nothing that could beat being wrapped up in your little nook, surrounded by books that you know very well.

Books that are more than just a collection.

These books are companions at night, when nightmares haunt sleep. They are a constant in an ever changing world that waits for no one. They provide shelter from all the sudden curve balls life throws.

They’re my refuge from reality.

So when I say “I’m building a library”, I don’t mean woodcraft or just buying any book to look cool. I mean something more, much more.

It all started when I was 8.

Now, I’m 23 and I’m still building my library.