Of course, reading about this fantastic space has got me all jazzed about the idea of building my own goshdarned library labyrinth because why not. I mean, if I'm going to be building a museum anyway. The Chapel of the Chimes, a slightly more...esoteric...take on this pairing, is one of the major inspirations for the way I envision the space, although the "books" in that particular intricate nest of stone chapels and mysterious passages are full of people's ashes. (God, the temptation to make "lost in a good book" jokes is killing me.) And, of course, as soon as I started thinking about writing this post, I just had to go and look at about five hundred pictures of libraries - just on Wikimedia alone, mind you, because I wanted to post all the best ones and I'm trying to be good about only using content I have permission for, so this is skipping all the spectacular images to be had just from simple googling. Which is probably a good thing, because when it comes to the collection of labyrinthine library images on the internet, well, a girl could really lose herself browsing...oh, god help me. To avoid any more awful puns, let me simply roll out some of my favorite finds. Remember - these aren't the prettiest libraries. These are the ones I am least likely to ever make my way out of...
|This library looks deceptively pleasant. Ha!|
No, seriously, you'll never get out of there.
The Bibliothek St. Florian, Austria, by
Stephan Brunker at de.wikipedia.
(GFDL) from Wikimedia Commons
|Shut up, Austria, we get it. You make the best weird libraries.|
Max Reinhardt Library, Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria.
Modeled after the St. Gallen's monastery library in Switzerland.
By Jorge Royan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0]
via Wikimedia Commons
|This is kind of what I envisioned the first time I read|
"The Library of Babel," but no, it's actually the George
Peabody Library, Baltimore, MD. By Matthew Petroff
(Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
|This is what you get when sugar-crazed Disney elves get told|
to build a library. You'll never get out because all the doors
are just painted on. Wait, just kidding, it's the library at the
Schussenried Monastery in Upper Swabia. By Andreas
Praefcke (Own work) [GFDL] via Wikimedia Commons
|A more modern take. Endlessly nested Star Trek dream|
sequences would work great in here, amiright?
Bibliothek Stuttgart, Germany. By Rae Bo
[GFDL] via Wikimedia Commons.
|Speaking of Star Trek, this Borg ship of a library probably |
has unspeakable things glittering in its bowels. A modern
minotaur, if you like. One thing is for sure: cubes are
always dangerous. Beinecke Rare Books and
Manuscripts Library, Yale University.
Via Wikimedia Commons.
|Yeah, like anyone is ever getting out of this one. This is|
starting to unnerve me a little. Where did I put all those
nice, wooden, calmingly mysterious libraries? Oh, help.
Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City, Mexico.
By Eneas de Troya (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0]
via Wikimedia Commons
|Nope, still unnerved. The National Library of Finland:|
nowwith more funhouse! This is what my nightmares
look like when I forget to bring back overdue books.
By Kallerna (own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0]
Via Wikimedia Commons
|I do feel like Borges would have liked this one.|
The Reading Room at the Real Gabinete
Português de Leitur, Rio de Janeir, Brazil.
By Eugenio Hansen, OFS (Own work)
[GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons