I learnt that even if you don’t understand a single word written in a book, you can learn to understand and like it. It was hard at first, because I don’t know any latin and neither could google translate even translate the title of the book correctly. But the first few exercises weren’t about the context so I could do those. I was surprised how much you can find out about a book without reading it. Even the structure, i.e. the number and length of the chapters, says a lot about a book. When I had direct contact with it, was allowed to touch it and leaf through it, I felt closer to it. The old smell emanating from the book also gave the whole thing a special feeling. I was also surprised that the book was so big and the pages were so heavy.
I had trouble understanding who wrote what because multiple authors were involved. The structure of the book, the table of contents, helped a lot.
Although I did not understand the content, I understood the storyline by googling the people who appear in it. The many pictures at the end of the book also helped. If you communicate with someone who doesn’t speak the same language, you can do it with hands and feet and signs. The same happened with the pictures, they spoke for themselves.
Unfortunately I didn’t learn anything about architecture. Maybe just that it was already a topic back then, that was discussed a lot. I think it is important that such things are recorded so that we know what our ancestors did and we can understand the development. This is how books help us and take us back in time. Unfortunately, more and more books are being digitalized, which is good for their accessibility, but it takes away all of its charm. So I’m glad we did this exercise, it showed me how valuable books can be because what is written is passed on from generation to generation.
As a conclusion I would like to say thank you, that we had the opportunity to visit those old books and got to become friends with them. In the last exercise where we founded a library, I really enjoyed being the voice of my book, it made me become one with it. It also showed me how other students saw this exercise as a chance of growing out of their comfort zone and diving into a bigger adventure. An adventure, where a old book becomes a friend.