British Museum Reading Room

My next discovery, The British Museum Reading Room, sits at the heart of the British Museum.  From what I can tell, as of right now it is less of a reading room and is currently being used as a home for major exhibitions (although the British Museum’s page doesn’t list any exhibitions beyond January 2010).

Nevertheless, the images I’ve found so far are of a cavernous and gorgeous space in which I would love to wile away some hours.

The British Museum Reading RoomSource

The British Museum Reading RoomSource

The British Museum Reading RoomSource

Alright, maybe even wile away some days!  Make my slow rounds around those walkways taking in the whole collection housed within that impressive dome.  I’ll have to do some more research to find out if it’s still an exhibition space, but this is definitely going on my “To Visit” list.


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Neil Gaiman’s Collection

I love how searching for images of libraries I already know about leads me to even more wonderful discoveries.  The internet is really an amazing resource.

My next discovery comes here via which led me to shelfari (The whole high-resolution photo collection can be viewed at this shelfari link). This is Neil Gaiman’s personal basement library. (Click on thumbnails for high-resolution images.  They are indeed quite large.)

And here’s a small slideshow for a quicker view of the images I’ve uploaded here. (In case you didn’t want to wait for all the high-res images to load).

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I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s writing, and it’s so cool to be able to get a glimpse of his personal space and some of the books that he has chosen to collect and compile. It’s probably as close as I will get to actually sitting down with him and having a conversation. I love the floor-to-ceiling shelves, and it’s both comforting and amusing to note that even with all the shelves, there are still stack of books lying unshelved and in stacks on chairs and tables. I now don’t feel so bad for the (far too many) books that have nowhere to reside in my tiny apartment besides the floor.

And while I lust after Belle’s library (featured in my previous post) as an unobtainable ideal, Neil Gaiman’s space is real and no less heavenly. Needless to say that I would love to have a space like this sometime in the future. Right now, I would love to just be able to have room for more bookshelves in my apartment (thereby saving an entire collection of books from residence on the floor).

I will be perusing the high-resolution versions of the shelves for some indirect recommendations for my to-be-read list.

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Beauty and the Beast

My fascination and love of libraries (and all the books they contain) was kindled at an early age.  I will admit that a Disney movie had a hand in kindling that fascination.  Anyone who shares my passion is probably already acquainted with this library – the fact that it exists only in illustration doesn’t dampen the awe for me.  It still exists as my ideal dream for that day in the future when I am rich enough to afford it.  🙂

I am, of course, speaking of the library that the Beast reveals to Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Belle's Library

Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite Disney movie (tied with The Little Mermaid), most likely because I saw a female protagonist who liked books more than boys, and (although still drawn within the unrealistic parameters of beauty that characterize all the Disney princesses) was a bit of an outcast.  A shy, awkward, bookworm of a little girl found hope through Belle.  Not to mention, coveted her library.

I still dream of having a library like this one – and the complete freedom to explore it and spend the day curled up in one of the large, comfy chairs in front of the fireplace, reading to my heart’s content.

*sigh* If only someone would fund my dream… a girl’s still gotta eat, I guess.

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unfortunately unknown

I’ve always been a devoted admirer of gorgeous libraries.  This is the image I came across today that ended up being the catalyst for wanting to create this blog.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what library this is, or where this is located.  Do you know?  Please tell me!  I love to give credit where credit is due!

(And as always, click on the image to access the larger version.)

[EDIT  – 4/3/11 @ 1:39AM]
I found out what this is a photo of!  It’s the Theological Library (or Theological Hall) at Strahov Monastery in Prague. It was completed in 1679, and contains about 16,000 books. It seems like the collection also spills over into the Philosophical Hall in the monastery.

Strahov Monastery - Philosophical HallSource

Gorgeous.  Most definitely going on my “To Visit” list.

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