Last Saturday, along with trusty navigator Victoria Hinshaw, I braved Chicago traffic in order to take a seminar at the Newberry Library.
The seminar was worth every teeth-gnashing, brake-wearing moment on the freeway.
For those who aren't familiar with this renowned facility, the Newberry is a non-circulating research library, focusing on the humanities. One must be seated in one of the reading rooms in order to get one's hands on the books. One can actually get one's unworthy bare hands on an illuminated medieval manuscript.
Those who've read THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE will recognize the Newberry as the place where Henry DeTamble works when he's not time traveling.
After a short presentation on the history of the library, we took a tour. The guide showed us the reading rooms, explained how to request materials from the librarians, and then took us back into the stacks. Oh, bliss. Oh, rapture! Oh, now I know why I didn't become a librarian. I'd get my butt fired for hiding away in a corner with some new treasure I'd found.
Then came lunch in a Thai restaurant before heading back to the reading room to try out our new skills. Yes, everything worked just the way we were told, and I was soon immersed in old books and maps. The afternoon buzzed by way too quickly.
I know I'm going back, but next time I may take the train.