Amazing Libraries

I had been trying to come up with a topic for today’s post for hours, and every idea seemed like it would require several days of writing, re-writing, and research. I needed something now. So, rather than face the dual problem of not enough suitable ideas and too many unsuitable ideas, I went to Pinterest. Mostly I was aiming for distraction, but I actually came up with an idea. Libraries! I just pinned my 100th pin to my library board, and thought it might be interesting to collect my favorites in one blog post.

Five Public Libraries

1. Stuttgart City Library. Located in the German city of Stuttgart, this library is a five-story open chamber where the only color comes from the books and visitors.

2.The Trinity Library. The library of the University of Dublin, Ireland, contains over 5 million volumes (now that’s a library!) and dates back to the establishment of the college in 1592.

3. The Rococo Library. Located in an Italianized Neoclassical palace-monastery in Mafra, Portugal, this library  contains over 35,000 leather-bound books. The floors are marble tile.

4. Biblioteca Nacional del Perú. The National Library of Peru is a non-circulating library founded in 1821. I love this staircase.

5. Liyuan Library. Li Xiaodong Atelier designed this small library located in a village near Beijing, China. The outside of the building blends into the surrounding landscape, and the inside uses steps and small level changes to create distinct spaces within the library.

Five Home Libraries

1. Featured in Architectural Digest’s Stunning Home Libraries, this beautiful two-story library belongs to a house in the Bahamas and was designed by Lea Ciavarra and Anne Marie Lubrano.

2. This lovely library reminds me of Beauty and the Beast. It’s in a renovated 1908 Tudor house in Nashville, Tennessee.

3. Thierry W. Despont designed this library for a Georgian Revival house in Toronto, Canada.

4. The Shelf-Pod house was designed by Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio, and is basically a livable library. Every part of the home is covered in lattice-style bookcases.

5. I don’t know anything about this library other than it looks amazing and it’s built around a courtyard. My source credits their source for the image, but I can’t get the page to load.

So Much Cooler Inside

Like many introverts (and a goodly number of extroverts, if some of my friends are any indication), I have an active imagination and “a rich inner life.” I’m daydreaming most of the time, even when it’s not readily apparent. I do let my musings out sometimes, here on this blog and over on my Pinterest boards, for example. The fact that I’m more comfortable expressing myself this way than in person reminds me of Brad Paisley’s song “Online,” except I’m telling the truth online and often masking my real self when I meet people in person. (Watch the music video if you haven’t yet — William Shatner is in it.)

This image by Gene Mollica makes me wonder how many fantastic things people hide behind their masks.

But even my online persona isn’t as “cool” as the me that stays inside my head. She joins the fellowship of the ring, travels with The Doctor, serves as an exopsychologist on the starship Enterprise, rules the world with Peter the Hegemon (if you don’t get this reference, you’re not reading enough Orson Scott Card), moves to a lake-side yurt to write books, marries Prince Charming, and adopts a couple of kids (just not all at the same time).

I spend a large (unreasonable?) amount of time thinking, daydreaming, and imagining. Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me — why don’t I spend more time making my real life interesting instead of constructing fantasies? As a fiction writer, I can call some of it research and story plotting, but I wouldn’t have to be in the stories myself if that were entirely the case. And I can only think of two such daydreams which have become full-fledged stories that can stand on their own.

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Partly because I spend so much time in my head, I often wonder what people think of me in real life. For someone who picks up on other people’s emotions intuitively, you’d think this would be easy. But I get so nervous when I think I’m under scrutiny that it’s hard to get past my own emotions enough to pick up on what other people think (unless their emotions are negative, in which case it’s time to flee the room). And then it’s easier to hide out in my head than spend time with “real” people, and the whole cycle begins all over again.

Well, I’m off to write a post for a different blog while talking over the direction of a novel with a couple of my characters (in my head of course — I’m sure my family would start worrying if such conversations were carried on out-loud).