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From the Guardian, a piece by Germaine Greer, Austrian feminist and author of The Female Eunuch, on how Libraries were Samarkand for girls of past centuries. "For all those unschooled girls, who sat atop library ladders devouring their fathers' and brothers' books without permission, the library was Samarkand. Excitement, adventure, happiness bloomed in the sunlight filtered through tight-drawn linen blinds, as they gathered up treasure that no one could steal."
The author goes on to explain how she prefers to find her adventures in the books, not the buildings that contain them.