My daughter D has almost finished reading the novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It is a thick book. It is over 1300 pages. When she stated to read it I remember I read it when I was in secondary school in Iraq, I think I was 15 when I read this book. I used to wait for the summer holiday to read as much as many books as I could.
My father used to have a nice collection of books in Arabic and English, in addition to the daily newspaper which was delivered daily to our house and a monthly Arabic magazine called Al Arabie.
I used to go to Hilla library in our area every two weeks with my friends Ameria or Intesar to borrow some books. We usually went at around 10.30 or 11 am because after that the temperature is raised to 40 centigrade or more. In this library we can’t see what books were inside. There is two entrances – one for women and one for men. Then we would knock on the small wooden window. The librarian’s name is Zuher – he had a miserable face, black glasses, never smiled or said anything – he just wanted us to pick books and leave. To pick a book we were given a list of what books were in the library and if they were available to borrow. I don’t know if the library is still in the same place or has been destroyed.