Libraries in Books

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Libraries in Books

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Jan 3, 2008, 1:34 pm

I'm trying to think of different books that mention a library or have major events happen in a library. The older the better, but which instances do you remember? Thanks in advance!


Jan 3, 2008, 1:43 pm

Jasper Fforde puts a good amount of scenes in the massive Library where the Cheshire Cat is the librarian in his Thursday Next novels.

Jan 3, 2008, 1:45 pm

This thread from the Librarians group may be useful ... it's all about books set in libraries or featuring librarians. I'm sure some have been missed, but it might be a good starting point.

Jan 3, 2008, 6:12 pm

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell has some great library descriptions. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova also has a few good library scenes, although they aren't exactly central to the story. And one of my favorite "rooms full of books" is the cemetery of forgotten books in The Shadow of the Wind.

Jan 3, 2008, 6:44 pm

Only one springs to mind although I'm sure there are more that I should know. The Minotaur by Barbara Vine features a library/labrinth (as you could probably infer).

Edited: Jan 3, 2008, 6:51 pm

Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler concludes in a library. And there's a famous one in Borges's short story The Library of Babel.

Edited: Jan 3, 2008, 7:17 pm

I always loved the YA fantasy book Lirael by Garth Nix because the heroine is a librarian, and it's described as a very dangerous and thrilling occupation.

Jan 4, 2008, 8:19 am

And there is a wonderful library in Inkheart by Cornelia Funke as well.

**Touchstones do not seem to work.....what's new?

Jan 4, 2008, 11:13 am

Terry Prachett's Discworld novels often wander through the Library of Unseen University.

Jan 4, 2008, 11:17 am

Harriet Vane spends much of her time researching (and daydreaming) at the Bodleian, in Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night. And vandalism at the (fictional) Shrewsbury College library plays a key role in the book.

> 9

Touchstones aren't working because site search isn't working.

Jan 14, 2008, 2:33 pm

A private library is a central location in Kafka on the Shore.

Jan 14, 2008, 2:48 pm

Michael Innes Operation Pax has a thrilling climax set in the Bodleian Library

Edited: Jan 31, 2008, 9:58 pm

Certainly the library that impressed me the most was that of Peter Kien in Auto-da-Fe by Elias Canetti.

Feb 9, 2008, 4:34 pm

"The House of Paper"
by Carlos Maria Dominguez is a book that is about people who collect books

Feb 9, 2008, 7:35 pm

Richard Brautigan's The Abortion

Feb 10, 2008, 1:57 pm

In Nabokov's Pnin, Timofey is a library animal and some of the most powerful passages occur when he's in an American library remembering and re-imagining his lost Russia.

Feb 10, 2008, 1:58 pm

In Nabokov's Pnin, Timofey is a library animal and some of the most powerful passages occur when he's in an American library remembering and re-imagining his lost Russia.

Mar 18, 2008, 8:56 pm

A Season for the Dead which starts off with a murder in the Vatican Library is relatively new. Dewey Decimated and The Best Cellar involve ibraries and came out in the 1980's.

Aug 13, 2009, 12:28 pm

Ian Sansom: The Mobile Library

Oct 19, 2011, 10:01 am

Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveller's Wife has many scenes in the library that the time-traveller works in, also look out for her beautiful and poignant magical realist graphic novel The Night Bookmobile.

Oct 1, 2012, 7:24 am

An attempt to revive a great thread - just set me down in the library from Gormenghast and leave my meals outside the door. Bliss!

Edited: Oct 1, 2012, 2:49 pm

Good idea, Booksloth.

I'm re-reading So You Want To Be a Wizard, and Nita hides from bullies in her hometown library, in the childrens section, where her finger trips over the book in the title. The library is contained in an old house, much like my hometown library. The librarian and the books are old friends.

Oct 2, 2012, 5:34 am

# I think if I had been Lord Gormenghast I would have leapt into the flames and gone with the library!