You may notice here a photo of a gorgeous building. This is in fact a building that was engineered in its time to be grander and more “Western” than the original Western European spaces is was meant to outshine- with the addition of copious amounts of the newly invented light bulb.
That’s right. I went to the Library of Congress.
Obsessive literature nerds, like myself, may know the Library of Congress as being the national library of the United States. Especially if you’ve followed this blog and remember I’ve already posted about their digital offerings inspiring me before. If they were local they might even realize that it’s completely open to the public and hosts public bookish events all the time in an attempt to remedy their reputation as being for researchers only (they totally aren’t) as well as to further their aim of spreading literacy through programs like The Center for The Book and the national library for the blind as well as capturing the American story through recordings of interviews with laborers of every job and veterans and all sorts of people whose stories are rarely heard.
What I like is that it is literally the biggest library in the entire world. They have four giant buildings worth of books, scrolls, films, reels, movies, magazine, folios, photos, music sheets. They cover law and science and that sort of thing but every novel conventionally published in the United States, and occasionally some self published books as well, are kept there. You’ve name it, they’ve got it. They even have a collection of something called fiches, which I have never heard of before.
It was a magical place to visit, even if it wasn’t my first time there- but honestly I could go daily to each of the many reading rooms and public rooms and galleries and presentation rooms and I still would not see all there was to see.
What’s your favorite bookish place?