It is supposed to be quiet here, and yet it’s busy with subtle noise. Before the age of a computerised system, there are no repetitive beeps or clacks, just the satisfying click and clunk of a stamper, and the sighing slip of tickets going from book to box. Chairs on surreptitious wheels trundle and spin over the polished floor, its sloping, slippery surface forcing feet to become brakes. There are others here, their coats crinkling and shoes squeaking as they reach for the texts they’re most tantalized by. If one coughs, it sets off the domino effect, and everyone coughs – a Mexican wave of relief. The distracted or curious may strain to hear whispered exchanges, but the only normal volume conversations take place at the lending desk. Even there, it’s hesitant. This is a place of the written word, and it holds all who enter under its silent spell.