Feb. 4, 2020: My Ultimate Fantasy Library

this photo of a library in Prague is courtesy of izoca via pixabay.com


I spend a lot of time thinking about My Ultimate Fantasy Library.

When I travel, I like to visit libraries, and use a bit of this, a bit of that, as I build my Ultimate Fantasy Library.

Someday, I intend to transform My Ultimate Fantasy Library into My Actual Personal Library.

As I often joke, someday, I will live in a place where I can finally unpack and shelve all my books.

Since I own several thousand books, and use an astonishing number of them every year, it constitutes a personal library.

My library will have both windows and nooks. I want a lot of natural light. I realize natural light is back for rare books/old books, so they will be kept in special cases with special glass to protect them.

But I still want natural light.

I want to be able to look up from whatever I’m reading or writing in the moment and see something beautiful outside the window, such as my garden. I would like one of the windows to be a window seat, possibly with bookshelves tucked in it and under it. I realize I will have to battle the cats to actually sit on it and read.

I would like, within the shelves of books, a little nook built into the wall, padded, with sconces, again, so I can tuck myself away and read.

I would like a chess table with two comfortable chairs, so that I can finally unpack the gorgeous rosewood chess set I bought years ago in Edinburgh. I will finally, then, learn how to play chess.

I want a standing globe, because I love globes and maps. I might even cheat and have an additional standing globe that opens into a bar. The library I worked for several years ago had one of those as part of our prize package in Spectacle of Trees a few years ago.

There will be a massive wooden desk for my computer and printer and whatever else I need, with nice, deep drawers for current projects. Excellent lighting. Other filing cabinets will be built into the bottoms of some of the book shelving, or built into the wall, complementing the overall look of the room.

There will be at least one table on which to spread out projects, maybe two. Probably wooden tables. And an easel or two, on which I can stand cork project boards for the inspirations for different projects.

There will be at least one sofa. If I have room for two sofas, I would like one to be a Victorian carved sofa, and one to be a pullout couch. If I have more guests than bedrooms, I can give up my bedroom and sleep in the library.

I want one of those conversations chairs, where each seat faces in the opposite direction. I want several comfortable wingback and/or club chairs, with lamps beside them, and small side tables, and maybe ottomans. Plenty of places to sit and read. I want a chaise longue (or fainting couch) with a cashmere throw. All of the fabrics would be soft and warm and textured, with the option to toss yoga blankets or other cotton throws on them for summer.

I hope there is a fireplace — a wood-burning one, to keep it cozy in dull weather.

I might have a sound system set up, so that I can play music if I choose — although when I’m writing, I rarely use music. Sometimes I have music on when I read.

There will, of course, be cat trees and cat and dog beds, although the beasts will probably spend most of their time on the sofas and chairs.

I might have a medallion or painted ceiling, so that when I look up, from a chair or one of the couches, I have something interesting to look at.

I change my mind on the colors. Do I want a soft, sage green, to make the woods glow even more? Or do I want to go with a more Art Deco or Art Nouveau look and do something darker, like teal? Because let’s face it, there won’t be a lot of wall space. It will be covered mostly in bookcases.

If there is wall space, it will have prints of old maps or framed photos of places that matter to me. Most of the graphics will be project-specific, and therefore on the project boards.

It will feel literary, comfortable, serene yet exciting, and a sanctuary for both creation and relaxation.

It takes the best bits from my favorite novels and great houses visited and old libraries visited and transforms them into a wonderful space to work and relax.

What is your Ultimate Fantasy Library?