Thursday, April 30, 2009

Books & Libraries

Queen’s College Library Oxford

A home without books is like a room without windows.
- Henry Ward Beecher

I adore books. When I was a child I used to devour them, at times reading 1-2 a day. Every minute I had to myself was spent reading. Some of my favorites included Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M Montgomery, C. S. Lewis, Charles Dickens and Tolkien. The sound of the page turning, the words that seemed to read themselves, the stories that transported me into different eras, times, places; it was magic.

When I was little, my mother used to take us to a local library about 20 minutes from our home. I remember the excitement as she pulled into the parking lot and the immense irritation I felt, waiting for her to help my younger siblings out of our van. Upon entering the building, I would first scan the shelf of "New arrivals and recently released" books, to see if there were any goodies waiting for me. They were usually picked over by the time we arrived but sometimes I got lucky. Then I would wander through all the isles, inhaling the scent of old and new books and relishing the silence.

Libraries have so much life, history, knowledge and heart to them. Generations upon generations have walked through those same doors, read the same books, wandered through those very isles looking for information, instruction or just an escape.

When I came across these photos, I was awestruck.

Biblioteca Geral University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland

Strahov Philosophical Hall

Strahov Theological Hall - Original Baroque Cabinet

Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Library of the Benedictine Monastery of Admont, Austria

Curious Expeditions did a fantastic job gathering dozens of pictures of the world's most beautiful and incredible libraries. Please take a look, you won't be disappointed I promise!


ConverseMomma said...

These pictures make my heart flutter. I love books too, and lived more fully between pages than I often did in the world. To this day, there is nothing more intoxicating for me than the smell of a cracked open book.

Nadia said...

You put that perfectly and I feel the exact same way!

Beck said...

Those pictures just make me want to burst into frustrated tears about our local library, really!

But they're lovely! Just IMAGINE.

Lee said...

Lovely post. That Henry Ward Beecher quote is so true! Lee :)

Kate said...

There is nothing more magical than a beautiful library. Something about the smell, the quiet, the way a book that drops to the ground echoes throughout the space...ah, I swear, when we go on vacation to *big* cities, libraries are the first stop on my list.

That post was like a breath of fresh (used bookstore) air. Thanks:)