Old 03-24-2016, 09:45 AM   #1
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Smile Ideal Homes

I have long wished I could buy the library in a former country house and just live in that, with a bath-tub in the middle and a kitchen discreetly laid out to one side. Last weekend, the FT annoyingly ran a feature about houses currently for sale with libraries in them. I usually just laugh off things I see in the FT Weekend as so ludicrously out of my price range that I don't even dream about owning them. ("Oh gosh! what yacht shall I go for this year?") However the libraries made me drool a bit before I released a few moths from my bank account and remembered to be thankful for the little chez-moi I actually own.

Feel free to post photos of libraries you would like to live in, or have spotted for your friends to retire to, or that you actually live in *green with jealousy emoticon*.

(Part of the 'library' in my petit chez-moi. Ok, it's just a wall of bookshelves. I am still unpacking my books, and will post proper photos when it's all done.)

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Old 03-24-2016, 09:47 AM   #2
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Tio, this C$ 21.8M home in Ontario has been put up for auction! If you are quick about it, you could snap it up.


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Old 03-24-2016, 09:50 AM   #3
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This library in a castle in the Dordogne still retains many medieval features, e.g. stained glass windows and fireplace with coat of arms on the breast. Ideal for my fellow fantasy romance writers!

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Old 03-24-2016, 09:53 AM   #4
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Here's something modern in South Ken for those who favour a less purple prose style. The house also has a steam-room, gym and cinema!

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Old 03-24-2016, 09:54 AM   #5
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The new look of the ideal home for books...

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Old 03-24-2016, 09:56 AM   #6
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The new look of the ideal home for books...
Ye-e-es ... it's a bit hard to imagine it with a bath-tub in the middle of it and a kitchen laid out to one side.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:56 AM   #7
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As a youngster, I always thought the Morgan Library in New York would make a nice home, but then I visited the John Rylands Library in Manchester a few years ago, and found it has a certain appeal.

I expect, though, that I'll have to be content nestled in the few thousand volumes crowding my pleasant little suburban bungalow and 55 square foot faculty office...
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:00 AM   #8
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I expect, though, that I'll have to be content nestled in the few thousand volumes crowding my pleasant little suburban bungalow and 55 square foot faculty office...
Those are both very beautiful! and with plenty of space for a bath.

Be grateful for the faculty office. I know of a highly eminent ethnography Professor who was forced to move into an open-plan office He took photos of the spines of his books and stuck them up on the dividers surrounding his desk
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:04 AM   #9
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You might find some more inspiration in Candida Höfer's photobook Libraries(with an interesting essay by Umberto Eco as a bonus).
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:12 AM   #10
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Cuh, typical! Zeb's electronic gadget library has stretched the thread, while all the pictures of libraries with mezzanines fit fine!


What library is this one? The fact that it has a domed roof makes me think it may be part of the British Library? but those aren't the desks as I remember them.

I am so thrilled, that I actually did go and use the old British library - the one that Karl Marx and Virginia Woolf used - before they moved it up to Euston. It was absolutely beautiful, and the desks were fabulous to work at. They all had little shelves and hooks, for which the purpose had got lost in time; to hang a bowler hat and put your gloves and copy of The Times aside while you worked on a book, and stuff like that.

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Old 03-24-2016, 10:33 AM   #11
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I love architecture from the Gilded Age, and could easily live in the library from The Breakers:



If nothing else, simply for that fireplace!
There are so many ornate details about the room though, that I would probably spend a few days looking at everything before I managed to get any reading done.
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:34 AM   #12
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Tio, this C$ 21.8M home in Ontario has been put up for auction! If you are quick about it, you could snap it up.


Thanks, Naoko. It is appealing, but the commute to my campus would be a bit much.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:42 PM   #13
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Our structure is rather less splendid than those shown -- hey, it's a fucking 3-wide modular so yes, we are trailer trash -- but the interior is nearly all library, with (mostly Ikea) coordinated cabinets brimming with books and ethnic crafts. Open spots on the walls are filled with original paintings, carvings, fabric arts, musical instruments, etc. Pretty elegant if we do say so ourselves. Our last stick-built homes (1979-89 and 1989-2004) were also live-in libraries. So was my apartment when I met my partner. It's traditional.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:50 PM   #14
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I am so thrilled, that I actually did go and use the old British library - the one that Karl Marx and Virginia Woolf used - before they moved it up to Euston.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:49 PM   #15
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This library in a castle in the Dordogne still retains many medieval features, e.g. stained glass windows and fireplace with coat of arms on the breast. Ideal for my fellow fantasy romance writers!

I really really like this library, but sadly the chairs look very uncomfortable.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:30 PM   #16
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Cuh, typical! Zeb's electronic gadget library has stretched the thread, while all the pictures of libraries with mezzanines fit fine!


What library is this one? The fact that it has a domed roof makes me think it may be part of the British Library? but those aren't the desks as I remember them.

I am so thrilled, that I actually did go and use the old British library - the one that Karl Marx and Virginia Woolf used - before they moved it up to Euston. It was absolutely beautiful, and the desks were fabulous to work at. They all had little shelves and hooks, for which the purpose had got lost in time; to hang a bowler hat and put your gloves and copy of The Times aside while you worked on a book, and stuff like that.

. . . .

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Old 03-25-2016, 12:44 AM   #17
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Hello, Honey

Many years ago, I lived next door to a famous painter. He was (probably still is) a very private man, so no names.

He purchased one of the character houses in the village and had the large but quite dark formal dining room turned into a splendid library. There was no bath – at least not in the dining room-cum-library. But he did have a rather stunning antique dining table and eight chairs in the centre of the room. It was a truly beautiful place to dine. Although I think that he only used it two or three times a year. On high holidays he preferred to dine off a rickety pine table in the kitchen. The rest of the time he usually dined off a tray in front of the television in a little fug-filled snug next to the kitchen.

Nice to have the option.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:44 AM   #18
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I really really like this library, but sadly the chairs look very uncomfortable.
Perhaps it's part of the Medieval look? Torture chairs

Ashunwhy's Gilded Age library from The Breakers is far more congenial - you can really see yourself lounging in the sofas and casually turning a page.


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Our structure is rather less splendid ... with (mostly Ikea) coordinated cabinets brimming with books and ethnic crafts.
Any chance of pictures?


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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Ah, Edward Albee would have been more familiar with this library at Trinity College, Connecticut (where he studied before being expelled for skipping chapel). It has a Frank Lloyd Wright-ish look to it, or maybe that's the standard flatpack library design?

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Old 03-25-2016, 06:05 AM   #19
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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Ah, nice music.
Listen to real talent HERE.
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:04 PM   #20
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Any chance of pictures?
I'll see what I can whip up.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:45 AM   #21
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'Lo sugar. I didn't mean to skip you; I was posting while you were posting.


That does sound like a good set-up: snug with tv/kitchen/splendid dining while surrounded by erudition

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Ah, nice music.
In the library! LOL

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I'll see what I can whip up.
Ooooh, if there are going to be whips too we are all agog!
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:15 AM   #22
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That Trinity library looked much like the new Library at San Jose State. The City Library and the University Library amalgamated in a new structure about 15 years ago and they built an eight or ten story library overlooking the City on the edge of the University grounds. A pretty good library with lots of unique collections, like the Lawrence Livermore Labs collection of nuclear research and early California History. A great place to read.

The Wedgwood blue one looks like the Library of Congress in Washington DC. I'm not sure as it wasn't blue when I was there in the 1980's. Fantastic place. I used the "Scorpio" system that had all the legislation in a single data base! And you could print out whole reams of stuff for cheap. Very useful to keep up with how the Government was screwing up my business.

Now of course I can do it from my home 3,000 miles away and store anything I want on a $5 thumb drive that will hold thousands of pages and photos that I can carry in my shirt pocket. And recline on my patio to read at my leisure and an electronic tablet that weighs less than two pounds. I do miss the bars in DC though.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:24 AM   #23
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The Wedgwood blue one looks like the Library of Congress in Washington DC.
...
I do miss the bars in DC though.
I think you could be right? I checked some pictures of the Library of Congress and it looks similar.

In the British Library I could get first editions of famous books. I did ask to see one by Mary Wollstonecraft once - I just couldn't resist the chance to look at her writing in the original first edition.

This is the old reading room at the British library.



This is the best picture I could find of the desks. I did like that shade of blue they were upholstered in. There were sort of shelves, and you could get a stand so you could read very comfortably at different heights and slopes, without getting a crick in your neck.

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Old 03-26-2016, 05:32 AM   #24
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I love the smell of a library but prefer 300 books on my small Kindle.
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