Libraries are among the chief evidences of a civilized society. They are, in a very real sense great catalogs of human cultural achievement, paeans to art, music, literature, and ideas where all that really matters in life may be expressed and disseminated in accord with beauty, goodness, and truth. They are great piazzas where the conversations of the ages continue unabated. Best of all, they are accessible to anyone and everyone—the riches of libraries are available to all those who would but venture in to partake of their knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. For any reader, a visit to a really well-stocked library must necessarily be something akin to Coleridge’s imagined visit to Kubla Khan’s famed pleasure dome.
My own library is rather humble, but nevertheless redolent with books collected from a lifetime of travel, study, and reading. Several views of this, my favorite room, are over on the Eleventary site.