Week 157: “To Hear Still More” by Brian Harnetty and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy


The next time you’re feeling stressed out, go to the library. Hang out there for a while, and I guarantee that you will start to feel better.

Libraries are the perfect place to de-stress. Especially big libraries. They’ve got all the grandeur, reverence, and peacefulness of a church. They’ve got the comfort and warmth of a living room. Everybody’s welcome, especially these days, when the internet has eliminated many people’s need to visit.

A few weeks ago I spent a couple of blissful hours in my city’s biggest library. I found a quiet corner by a window, way up on the fifth floor, and just sat doing nothing for a couple of hours. That’s the other great thing about libraries; they’re all about books, but you don’t have to go there to read. You don’t really have to do anything. It’s not like a store where the staff will start to look at you funny if you don’t buy anything.

For a while I just sat there, enjoying the almost overwhelming silence. It’s a bizarre feeling to be surrounded by stacks upon stacks of words, but not hear anyone speaking. After a while I put in my headphones and listened to some music. This song came on, and it immediately struck me as the perfect library anthem.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. Parts of it sound like a music box in slow-motion.

2. Parts of it sound like a sleeping accordion.

3. There’s no real melody, tempo, or structure. Just a couple minutes of peace.

Recommended listening activity:

Picking books at random, and reading their first and last sentences.

Buy it here.