Tuesday 16 October 2012


I recently read an article online about the seven coolest libraries in the world. Yes, I had some time on my hands and considered this more palatable in terms of ‘news’ than anything else that was being regurgitated that day. Above is one of the photos, and trust me, they weren’t kidding when they said cool.

One library is in Seattle; it’s sleek, modern, and in some funky shape that beckons you into the building to see what's on offer. Considering it’s always raining there I’m sure that’s not a difficult task. Then there is a libarary that is on the campus of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. This one is worth looking up if you’re an architecture buff. It is the oldest library in Ireland (1592), which would make an American blush due its historical significance, and it contains some of the oldest manuscripts known to man, one of which is written in vellum. Vellum – that’s old I assure you, much older than velcro.

Above is the library found in the Netherlands that looks like some underground space bunker, most of the library is indeed underground with a roof that is comprised of a grassy hill and the inside looks like something out of Architectural Digest; there is another one in San Diego that resembles a space ship, and lastly, a library found in Egypt that looks like a modern painting built on the site of the largest and most influential library in the Greek World.

All this makes you want to go dust off your library card doesn’t it? Okay, fine, my local library is nothing to shout at. In fact, it’s pretty ugly as far as aesthetics go and will not be getting a mention on CNN; but the King and I roll down there as much as possible because, well, it gives away books for free. And faithful readers of this blog know how much I love free sh*t. More importantly though there is something about the ‘element,’ shall we say, that hangs at the library that is incredibly amusing to my writer’s brain – and sometimes frightening, but the King manages to keep them in line with one jarring HOLLER just before he pushes ten books off a shelf. We’re working on his library demeanor.

My local seems to attract all types. Those looking to get out of the cold, wanting to use the Internet or simply wanting to fall asleep in a chair with drool hanging out of their mouths. There are a lot of these types. I’m gathering the average user probably doesn’t even go to the library to check out books. Myself, I blow through there several times a week and challenge myself to find a book faster than the King can cause havoc and get the stare down from the staff trying to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. 

It’s a little game we play called, 'let's see how long mommy can take to find a book before I run screaming through the nonfiction section.' I go down there with a list of authors’ names in my mind, knowing generally what I'm looking for; the King sits in the pram and pretends he’s going to let me peruse through the aisles to find said books. And just when I’m getting comfortable in my aisle pacing, whammmo, he’s out like a shot and flashes that look that says, ‘I’m out of here, Mamma, there are just too many aisles to get lost in.’ I then feebly and frantically attempt to locate a book whilst loud whispering, ‘get back here, please!’ Then I end up grabbing some novel written by a young author with too much angst and a bad case of thesaurus-dependence that I’m never going to get through, and hence demands I return to the library another day without the King in tow. You see, this is why it is very convenient having it down the street. 

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