Chauburji While Lahore was known as the City of Gardens, it also gained fame as a Centre of Learning, boasting some of the finest libraries in the subcontinent. These treasure troves of books were patronised by a very large number of Lahoris, whose appetite for reading was as voracious as their love for good food and fun. The Dayal Singh Trust Library was established in 1908 on Nisbet Road in deference to the last will and testament of Sardar Dayal Singh Majithia, son of Ranjit Singhs Chief of Ordnance, General Lehna Singh. In 1947, the building and its contents suffered severe damage due to fire and looting. It was after a lapse of 12 years that the facility was reopened to the public in 1964. A marble statue of Sardar Dayal Singh, placed in the corridor of the library building, generated a controversy when a press report claimed that it had been stolen and sold at a lucrative price. Officials denied the allegation and said that the statue had been moved to make room for new books. Reportedly, the whereabouts of this historic piece of sculpture are still unknown. The Punjab Public Library was established near the Lahore Museum, just off The Mall, by the order of Punjabs Lieutenant Governor in 1884. It is said that an original version of this library was set up in a baradari constructed by Wazir Khan, the Governor of Lahore, during the reign of the Moghul Emperor Shahjahan. In 1918, the Government of India designated the facility as the Central Library of Northwest India for inter circle library purposes, a function that was assumed by 1929. This great resource of research and recreation continues to serve the citizens of Lahore to this day. The Punjab University Library was housed in its old building near Anarkali, until it was shifted to its new location on the Quaid-i-Azam Campus in 1988. Established in 1882 with a purchased collection of two thousand volumes belonging to Sir Donald Macleod, this great resource of information had an awesome ambience, where everyone trod on silent feet and spoke in hushed tones. I remember passing through its portals from the Nila Gumbad side on numerous occasions, and being immediately swamped by a feeling of intellectual inadequacy in the mighty presence of so much knowledge. Lahore also had two college libraries of importance in 1938, belonging to the Forman Christian and the Government College. Founded in 1864 in its original campus located in what is now Nila Gumbad Chowk, the Forman Christian College consisted of four buildings in 1916. A beautiful structure known as Ewing Hall was added to the complex in 1919 and continues to be used as the college hostel to date. My grandfather, a student of the Nila Gumbad Campus often spoke very fondly of the library there and said that his passion for books was in part spawned within its hallowed premises. In 1940, the facility along with the college, shifted to a sprawling campus on the banks of the Upper Bari Doab Canal that runs through Lahore, where it continues to serve students to this day. The Government College, now the Government College University, Main Library was set up in the mid 1860s, along with the college building and has provided invaluable service to generations of students. This librarys call to fame is its private collection of books and memorabilia like the typewriter used by Saadat Hassan Manto to produce his immortal stories. As a former Ravian, I had the opportunity to spend time amongst the books here and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. While Beadon Road was known for its Amritsari Halwai and the Irani Bakery, it was also home to a small unpretentious alcove like place, which brought joy to millions of readers. This was Farzana Library, where one could get Ibne Safis Jaasoosi Dunya and Imran Series along with other books for four annas per day. Today, the works of Ibne Safi are a part of classic detective literature and his books are considered to be collectors items. This then was a sampling of what can best be termed as a silent, yet vital ingredient of Lahores incomparable lifestyle, which could be described (with sincere apologies to Omar Khayyam) as - a good book, a glass of peray wali lassi and thou The writer is a freelance columnist.