Author: Kalle Päätalo

Higher goals

Issue 4/1987 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

An extract from the novel Tammerkosken sillalla (‘On Tammerkoski bridge’, 1982). Introduction by Panu Rajala

I had thought there were a lot of books in the libraries in Oulu. But both those libraries were totally overshadowed when, having climbed up to the top of the Messukylä Workers’ House, I began to cast my eyes along the bookshelves in the attic. A tallish and refined-looking librarian responded when I exclaimed aloud.

‘Just under seven thousand volumes altogether. Some of them are out on loan. We’d like to have a lot more books, but getting the money to buy them is like getting water from a stone.’

‘But you’ve already got an incredible amount compared to what we have in the rural library at home… In Taivalkoski during the war all we had was two cupboardsful.’

‘You didn’t have a lot of choice there,’ agreed the librarian. More…