[Susan notes: Of course I am happy that Oliver Sacls wrote this letter--but angry that he needed to.]
Published in The New York Review of books
To the editor
Seeing the photograph of Willesden Library in Zadie SmithĂ˘€™s powerful article ["North West London Blues," NYR, July 12] gave me a sudden start, and a rush of intense memories and emotions, for it was here that I spent many of the happiest hours of my growing-up yearsĂ˘€”our house was a five-minute walk from the libraryĂ˘€”and where I received my real education. I hated school, instruction, classes, and needed to feel freeĂ˘€”free to look at the thousands, tens of thousands, of books in the libraryĂ˘€”to roam and to enjoy the special atmosphere and the quiet companionship of other readers, all, like myself, on quests of their own.
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