Libraries are absolutely one of the best things about the world that we live in – free access to mankind’s vast knowledge. I love everything that libraries have to offer – stories, classes, social gatherings, reference materials… someday I hope to travel and visit some of the world’s greatest libraries. Here are a few at the top of my list.
(Top 10 Tuesdays are hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl)
1. Vatican Apostolic Library
I was raised as Roman Catholic (and I am still a practicing Catholic) and naturally, as a bookworm, at a very young age I developed a fascination with the Vatican Apostolic Library. Of course I am interested in the history, and the incredible age of the oldest of its books, but also – look at how beautiful it is! If they let me in I don’t think they could ever get me out.
2. Bodleian Library
I am a total Potter-head, and for those of you that don’t know, the Hogwarts Library scenes were filmed in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Someday (when we have money to travel as much as I’d like) I’m going to put on my Hogwarts robes and sit in the Bodleian Library and read.
3. Admont Library
Another one of my early obsessions – Beauty and the Beast! The Admont Library in Austria is the world’s largest monastery library, and also the library that inspired the library in the original Beauty and the Beast. It’s huge and beautiful and when I die I hope my ghost gets to hang out here!
4. Trinity College Old Library
I don’t have any special ties to the Trinity College Old Library, but this place is the place I dream of when I think of Ireland. It’s so incredibly beautiful, and someday when I can finally travel to Ireland it’ll be at the top of my list.
5. Library of Congress
I have been to Washington, DC three times and somehow, impossibly, I have never visited the Library of Congress. This is way at the top of my list of places to visit in the US, and my husband and I have talked about needing to get back to Washington, DC so next time we go we are going to the library FIRST.
6. Liyuan Library
If you aren’t already aware of the Liyuan Library, go look it up! It has such a cool aesthetic, and is environmentally friendly, and looks so pretty and peaceful. If I ever get to go to China we will definitely be visiting.
7. Morgan Library and Museum
In case you didn’t know this about me already, I LOVE James Joyce. And the Morgan Library has over 350 works by Joyce. I want to go and look at everything they have. And yes, I know how long it will take to look at 350 books – so may as well just drop me off and come back next month.
8. Prague – Library Hall
Ok, so this one is almost entirely aesthetic – but tell me this isn’t one of the most beautiful places you have ever seen? Plus is was opened in 1722 and I’d love to visit Prague.
9. George Peabody Library
This is another one that is mostly aesthetic, but look at that natural lighting! And the columns! I could read here all day.
10. British Library
This is the second biggest library in the world – you can’t beat that! I would love to just stand in the presence of all that knowledge. Plus it’s incredibly beautiful.
Now I just can’t help but show off some of the amazing libraries in my neck of the world! I live in Lawrence, Kansas, and I know Kansas isn’t exactly known for being a font of literary culture, but we have some incredible libraries here.
Kansas City Public Library
This library is semi-famous because of its exterior- and it’s only 45 minutes away from me! Seriously – my sister and I went one time and it’s huge, and the reading room is stunning.
Lawrence Public Library
This one is my home library! We just built a new library a few years ago and it’s gorgeous and has won all kinds of awards. The kids section has all these adorable little reading nooks, and that picture with the chairs in front of the giant window is my favorite reading spot. I go there 2-3 times a week to read and write. My Twitter has lots of pictures!
Kenneth Spencer Research Library
This is the research library at KU – my alma mater. I loved it at the time but I respect it even more now that I have some perspective. It’s home to one of the largest collections of Irish literature outside of Dublin (which was great when I was getting my degree!), cuneiform tablets from 2,000 BCE, a surprising amount of Medieval manuscripts, and so so much more. If you live in the Midwest or find yourself nearby you absolutely should check it out.