A good idea?

I have Keny Arkana blasting angry lyrics in my ear but as I step through the doors of the Idea Store, I find my hands reaching to silence her. I think I’m still living in the age where you keep quiet in a library and though no one can hear her screaming in my headphones, I still silence her out of some archaic respect for libraries. I know that the idea store is not a library per se but it houses books and that is qualification enough for me. 

It’s when I make my way upstairs that I question if I’m the only one who has this respect. The Idea Store is a mix between a learning centre, computer lab, library and café so it is understandable why people would laugh and converse as usual BUT I hear loud mobile ringtones, people shouting at each other across distances and young girls and boys flirting and exchanging numbers. In fact, as I look around, I’m actually the only one who is trying to choose some books.

Two young girls are talking to a boy on speakerphone. “Yes, we’re lesbians, I’m stroking her leg right now,” claims one of the girls, laughing raucously (as an aside, this girl was wearing a headscarf).
The boy on the other end of the line gives some unintelligible response.
“Nah, nah. You can join in if you link us up,” she replies.

The boy laughs and mumbles back what I can only assume is an equally eloquent reply. I cringe and move on. I realise I’m being supercilious on many levels but I can’t help but feel that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea stores are a great, er, idea. Yes, I love my dusty, creaky old libraries but I also think the modern look and feel of the idea stores and the services they provide are fantastic and the initiative has my resounding support. It’s great that their computer labs and free internet service are heavily used. It’s great that their café is a place for social gatherings and general chilling-out. It’s great that the courses they run are popular and have a high uptake, it’s great that their CDs and DVDs generate funding through regular loans.

I just think it would be especially great if their books were read as well.


  1. The books do get read. I should know I picked up your book from there!


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