a bibliophile's dream

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Over at PopMatters, Lara Killian writes about home libraries, and links to this WSJ article about them being "back in style." Killian asks, "Do you have a library-like space where you can escape from your computer and other distractions to just relax? If not, what features would your dream library include?" Here is my reply:

My dream library--the one that my mind's eye superimposes over the actual appearance of the myriad bookcases that crowd my living room, dining room, bedroom, office, and basement--would of necessity be a rather large affair, and also the co-center (along with the living/dining area) of my dream home.

What I dream of is a library space that would not just store books, but provide a comfortable area for family and friends to converse and socialize--and perhaps even hold book club meetings! I envision a rather long but relatively narrow room with French doors at one end and tall mullioned windows at the other; the view sometimes features gently rolling hills and other times a large stand of trees, showing that my real concerns are within the room rather than without.

Ceiling-height shelves line the entirety of one of the long walls, which is separated from the other by a pair of rectangular tables with matching benches. An open area in the center of the room between the tables has a pair of lecterns facing away from each other, which cradle various frequently-used reference books. (My sole concession to technology would be a wireless laptop for note-taking, quick-and-dirty Internet research, and a well-stocked iTunes library for assistance in writing about music.)

In the middle of the other long wall is a sunken fireplace capable of warming several pairs of feet weary from working in the outside world. It is flanked by a pair of comfy chairs, with more bookcases toward each end of the room. Above the fireplace hangs a reproduction of Raphael's The School of Athens; reading lights next to the chairs and banker's lights on the tables provide the necessary ambient light.

You may now be wondering, "What about the books?"

Although I've begun that part of my dream library, I am nowhere close to being finished. Assembling a collection of books worthy of the room I've just described will likely be the work of a lifetime, if not several.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 16, 2008 11:24 PM.

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