Saturday, 9 June 2012

Libraries to visit

Last time I filched a photo from a friend on Facebook, I threw down the gauntlet and stated that from now on, any book related photos that friends posted on Facebook would be fair game for my blog. It's been a bit of a case of 'be careful for what you wish...' as there are images now being posted with direct links to me - for those of you following the blog, I will get them all up in time, I promise!

This one, from a friend of a friend who weighed in on a discussion on Facebook and who has recently returned from what looked like an amazing trip overseas, is of a pretty amazing library. In his words, which accompanied the link he sent me,
Admont monastery library. I had a look. Originally built in 1776 with a capacity to house 70,000 books. The Library held 40,000 at its completion and collected more subsequently. It now houses volumes dated from 1600-1900. The library also has 1400 manuscripts and 930 incunabulae, but these are stored elsewhere.
He couldn't take photos inside, but click here to have a look.

However - and I'm adding this some time after writing the rest of this post - said friend has just posted some images which I'm assuming are scanned postcards... So, herewith, an image of this absolutely amazing library:
 Meantime, another friend posted this cartoon and tagged me:
This cracked me up - partly because it's a variation of a conversation I have at home regularly. As I've written many times before, I have books in storage due to the current bookshelf space limitations. Dearly Beloved has stored all of his books, but we're talking two libraries of vastly different scale and content, wherein lies our particular version of this discussion.

DB: "Hon, you've got too many books!" - usually uttered after he's moved them again....
Me: "No I don't. You can't have too many books."
DB: "Well, you can't have too many art books..."
Me: "You can't have too many of ANY kind of books."
DB: "Yes you can, you have too many books."

You can see where it goes... All of DB's books are in storage (bar the odd particular volume, and I'm subversive and give him books whenever there's a gift occasion...) and they are almost solely art books. However, that was a choice he made when we moved. My storage collection are as eclectic as what is still on the shelves, and I'm just looking forward to when we settle someplace where I can have them all back out and have room to house the whole collection again.


  1. Sounds like my house, for sure. Great photo and nice to hear I am not the only one that dreams of having a library for a house!

  2. With you on that one, Jan! I had a room that was a library once...and have lusted after having another one since!

  3. Hi, Kaz!

    LOL at your conversation with the DB. For what it's worth, I'm on your side.

    That library is awesome! I love that it's very well lighted! And it gets natural lights at that! Although I did read that the sun can get really harsh on books, but I'm sure that the library knows that and has its own way of dealing with it, especially if it's been around for several years already!

  4. Hi Peter,

    DB and I looked at a house yesterday that we loved - 30s, with all sorts of unexpected curved walls. We can't buy it at present, which is a terrible shame. But, last night he suddenly asked me where on earth I'd put the books..."There's not much room there for books," he said. I told him that the study area on the second floor with all the built in book shelves would be an excellent start. To which he replied that it would barely scratch the surface. Then I mentioned the wall between two recessed sliding doors in a wide corridor space (ten foot ceilings...) - got a speculative look about that one. Then informed him that, in keeping with the period of the house, running custom built timber bookcases underneath the curved walls of windows would create oodles of space for more.... At which point, he cracked up laughing. As I said to him, finding room to fit books isn't a problem when you've had lots of practice!

    It's hard to learn to live with a book junkie!

    The library is incredible, isn't it. I thought about the light too - but figured they have the really fragile manuscripts stored elsewhere.