Unusual Library Collections Around the World

Imagine walking into the home of a recently deceased resident after getting a mysterious phone call about a massive collection of maps. That’s what happened to Glen Creason, the map librarian at Los Angeles Central Library and author of Los Angeles in Maps. Creason walked out of the home with boxes of historical maps and coveted city guides that instantly doubled the library’s collection. L.A.-based filmmaker Alec Ernest captured the story of Creason and an unknown map collector named John Feathers in a mesmerizing short film about the beauty and power of physical objects, and the strange passions people have for them. Ernest’s film inspired us to travel libraries around the world and explore their unique and sometimes bizarre collections. … Read More

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The Lost Art of Library Postcards

I’d like to imagine there will always be people who find it necessary to fit the experiences of a vacation into the small space provided on a postcard, but I’m doubtful. The idea of buying, filling out, and dropping one into a mailbox has become a quaint relic of our pre-Instagram past. … Read More

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Our Favorite Pop Culture Librarians

The librarian is one of the most misunderstood figures in pop culture history. The patronizing character John Rothman played in Sophie’s Choice and the “old maid” Donna Reed portrayed in It’s a Wonderful Life are just a few of the negative, unflattering, and downright laughable images of librarians that our society has been inundated with. There are, however, several fine examples of realistic, intelligent, competent, and yes, even sexy librarians in cinema, television, and beyond. We’ve detailed 15 of our favorite fictional librarians, below. … Read More

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12 Tales of Book Thievery

As devoted book lovers and defenders of libraries, there are few things that upset us more than people who steal books. We read about a recent case of book theft in China this week, detailed after the jump, which compelled us to explore a brief history of shocking book thievery. Greed, desperation, and delusion have compelled ordinary citizens and literary insiders to snatch rare books and manuscripts for dubious purposes. Most of these stories about stolen titles read like a gripping thriller, but the following tales of book theft are sadly all too real. … Read More

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Beautiful Dance Performances That Incorporate Books

As book lovers and library enthusiasts, we’re always on the lookout for works of art that pay homage to their beauty. When we spotted a beautiful performance set against a library of books at Art Fag City, which we feature after the jump, we were mesmerized by the dancer’s physical engagement with the space and the intersection of movement and stillness. Wanting to see how other dancers translated this concept, we discovered more performances that incorporated books and libraries — some within the dance itself, and others as a setting. … Read More

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The 20 Most Beautiful Libraries on Film and TV

If you read this space with any frequency, you’ll know that Flavorwire is perhaps unnaturally fond of the beautiful library. Recently, Book Riot mused over which Doctor Who library is the best — or perhaps the most beautiful. But why stop at the Doctor Who universe? Countless gorgeous libraries have appeared on screens large and small (if only there were set designers in all of our homes), whether old and dusty, shiny and modern, underground, filled with water, or, um, animated. Click through for 20 of the most beautiful libraries on film and… Read More

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Incredible Reading Rooms Around the World

We love libraries, have a soft spot for bookmobiles, can’t get enough of bookstores, and we really enjoy bars we can read in. We’re always in search of cozy, beautiful places to curl up with a good book, so when we saw that New York-based modern furniture company Vitsoe was opening a pop-up reading room in their downtown store, we went searching for other unique reading rooms around the world. Comfort, intimacy, atmosphere, and a great view play a big part in the design of these bookish spaces. See more in our… Read More

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