I do not remember anytime from early childhood when I was not a member of any Library or a regular member at local book-shop that rented books. Every time we changed house or went to a new city, I used to try to find a place where I could browse for books and then take them out for reading. Sometimes, I could find large libraries and sometimes I could find only small book-shops that dealt with old books and will give these books on rent. A perfect weekend always included going to a library and spending time there browsing through books, sometimes finding new authors and genres, sometimes picking up on old ones and sometimes just sitting there going through many newspapers and magazines.
Before the Google era, I used to go to library for my questions and always felt that I would find answers there. When I was bored or down or happy, library was the place to go and day would pass just like that. I remember browsing through huge encyclopedias and pictures books that would have been too expensive to buy and learning lot of stuff. Then there were some not very popular sections but hiding some really great books. Most of these libraries had restriction on number of books one could borrow and that was the most tricky part. At the end of library visit, I would always have too many books and then I had to choose the best and then hope that when I visit next time, I will still be able to find the remaining ones.
I would like to mention about two of these libraries that have been most important. One was central library in Chandigarh, where I was member for many years. That place has been most influential in creating the habit of reading English books in me. Another was the office library of C-DOT where I worked for many years. Normally, corporate libraries are not that great but the librarian here was really good and he had nurtured this place for many years making it one of the best source of technical information.
Wow, this is my 50th post.