Friday, October 19, 2012

Dream Libraries

Dream Libraries
By Brad R. Cook

I Love Libraries! Who doesn’t, beyond being an orgy of books, they are temples to knowledge, hoarders of information, protectors of wisdom, gatekeepers of entertainment, museums to the printed word, and the den of free thinkers. Libraries are safe havens from a tumultuous home life, quiet retreats where one can actually work, a safe place to take the kids for awhile, and contained within are thousands of portals to worlds both near and far.

They are libraries – and I’m not just talking about the big buildings people pass by but rarely enter.

What lover of books doesn’t have some form of a library in their home? It may be an overstuffed shelf, with books crammed into every corner, and layered two or three deep. It may be a cavernous hall with tomes stacked on oak shelves trimmed with bronze. If it is the latter, please invite me over.

I wish all libraries were places of wonder, like an amusement park for books. The kids sections should be alive with color, with tiny chairs and tables, and a cave, what kid wouldn’t want to read in a cave, or a pirate ship. Awesome. Now, can we get the rest of the library to be as cool, because I would love to read a book while sitting on the branch of a tree growing out of the center of the room? Too much, it can be a fake tree. I know the problem is funding, it’s always about funding, but perhaps the real issue is that it is public, I think what I really want is a grand library in my home.

As a lover of old books, libraries are like candy stores. But I must confess, I wish I were a part of the super rich, not for the cars, yachts, or spaceships, no, I would want the library. An ever-growing, filled with my favorites, and all the books I’m going to want to read, with new stacks coming every week, ahh, heaven, or maybe not. I would become a recluse, never leaving the library until passing away with a book in my hand. AHH. Okay, maybe all I really need are a bunch of shelves and a big comfy chair.

I think books look best, though, when displayed on wood and marble. From the Library of Congress to the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Branch, these grand temples to literature throughout our country are stunning works of architecture, beautiful even without their contents.

Then there are the libraries of our dreams, like the one Beast gives to Belle in the Disney movie, or the ones I see running through my Facebook feed. Created by artists, or master craftsmen, they are places wrapped in imagination and fun, little worlds to curl up in and get lost for awhile.

My ideal dream library would have a tree house, a cave, a castle, and a pirate ship. Parts would be marble and parts would be wood. There’d be a circular staircase in one corner, and those ladders that slide along the stacks, oh, and don’t forget a giant comfy chair.

So, what would your dream library look like? Tell us in the comments.

I also highly recommend doing a Google Image Search for “Dream Libraries”, “Awesome Libraries”, or “Cool Libraries”. I would have posted more pictures, but that might get me in trouble, so check them out and start planning your dream library. We might not be able to build it in this life, but I can think of worse places to spend the next.


Brad R. Cook is a historical fantasy author and President of St. Louis Writers Guild. Please visit or follow me on Twitter @bradrcook

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