The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
A young man returns his library books (on time) and when he asks the lady at the circulation desk for more books she directs him to the librarian in room 107. The old male librarian there bullies the boy into reading the tomes he put the effort into locating, ancient books that are “for internal use only.” The boy is then led down twisting labyrinthine corridors to the reading room. What lurks there? You’ll have to read to find out. I do leave you with this quote about libraries and librarians to ponder: if all they did was lend out knowledge for free, what would the payoff be for them?
This very slim volume (you can read it in less than an hour) is a treat for all lovers of libraries (and if you are reading this blog I hope you are). Know that it is dark, and quite bizarre; not just the story but the illustrations as well. It is also a thinking book. You’ll be thinking about it long after you finish wondering what exactly the author was trying to say about loneliness, knowledge and life.