Librophiliac Love Letter

I am perfectly well aware it is intellectually unfashionable these days to wax lyrical of the beauty of books and libraries. Books apparently are no longer meant to be viewed for their aesthetic appeal, and if you do so you are somehow viewed as an intellectual poser, uninterested in the real meaning behind books.

Quite frankly, however, I do not care. I like libraries (and bookshops). I like being in them. I like their very essence. I like the air. Whenever at school I was feeling poorly, I would just have to enter the library and immediately all was right with the world. If I end up surviving until home-owning age, my first plan will be to construct a proper library.

With that in mind, I came across this compendium of some of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Here are just three examples:


Lib 2

I luoghi della memoria scritta. Le Biblioteche italiane tra tute

What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labours to these Bodleians were reposing here as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of the sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.
Essays of Elia. Oxford in the Vacation

Of course, at USYD we had the magnificent architectural glory of Fisher Library


3 Responses to “Librophiliac Love Letter”

  1. Attique Says:

    Ah, but it was not always like this at Fisher:

  2. Jacques Chester Says:

    In defence of Fisher, the toilets in the Research Library tower have pretty decent views and are lovely places to sit and think. I understand they’re also popular locations for amorous encounters.

  3. Tim Andrews Says:

    It was certainly a goal of many students to christen the stacks before they graduate…

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