If you’re passionate about books, you’re probably passionate about libraries and would be happy to be lost inside one for a day.
Step through the doors of a library and your senses are hit with distinctive smells of ink and paper, sounds of muted footsteps and hushed voices, and the calming sight of row upon row of books on shelves.
Libraries offer knowledge, entertainment and opportunities for lifelong learning and inspiration. They instill curiosity, no matter a person’s age, interest or background. They inspire a sense of calm in their logical classification – cardinal and ordinal, alphanumerical and alphabetical, geographical, subject, colour, size and shape – an organisational system that can be physically entered and explored.
The sense of delight, curiosity and mystery engendered by libraries is a reason so many authors feature them in their novels. My all-time favourite is The Name of the Rose, in which Umberto Eco creates a chilling story featuring a library located in the fortified tower of a medieval Benedictine monastery.
Books are great, but books set in libraries are even better.
The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
The Mystery of Henri Pick by David Foenkinos
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
The Historian by Elisabeth Kostova
The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The library depicted in the photo above is the Austrian National Library in Vienna. Wouldn’t that be a fabulous place to get lost inside once the doors have closed for the day?