In The Land of Marvels: How I Got Lost in a Little Scottish Library
Posted by Melissa
Just a few steps away from the multi-story Main Library of the University of Edinburgh (an impressively hideous example of 60’s architecture), there is a townhouse where the department of Celtic and Scottish Studies holds its classes. Tucked away at the back of the ground floor of that townhouse – a townhouse that once upon a time housed the neighbors of Sir Walter Scott and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – is a small library.
I don’t normally go into the Scottish Library. My studies take me two flights up where a single room holds more books on Irish and Welsh language and literature than you can find almost anywhere. The Celtic Library is my place.
But sometimes I step into the Scottish Library to study. It is made up of two small rooms with floor-to-ceiling shelves of books.
Have you ever been in a bookshop or a library that felt like you had gained rare and precious access to other worlds? For those of us who just love books, any library or bookshop gives us a certain joy. All we need is to see so many books all in one place and our hearts begin to race.
But the golden moments are found in that particular little hole in the wall shop – a narrow, quiet place with a shabby exterior that seems to embrace us as we step in with a warm, musty smell; perhaps it is a bit disorderly, but in that really good way that implies hidden treasures. That’s a feeling we don’t get from your average Barnes & Noble.
Today in the Scottish Library, I suddenly began to notice strange and lovely titles tucked away on the shelves that drew my eye and begged me to look. Further in! the library seemed to say. Further in!
Within the glow of cold sunlight streaming in between the bare branches of the trees outside, warming as it passes through the window onto the shelves, I let this little library cast a spell over me for an afternoon.
We call our e-zine The Gallery of Worlds because we believe that a good story draws you into its otherworld.
And sometimes that’s exactly what we need.
**For more pictures of books from this lovely library adventure and other wanderings in Scotland, see my blog So I Went to Scotland Searching for Dragons**
About Melissagenerally in love with things Celtic, mythological, fantastic, sharp and pointy, cute and fuzzy, intellectual, snarky, cheerful, or some combination thereof. Such things as sarcastic bunnies wielding claymores might come to mind...
Posted on February 7, 2012, in Art, Books, Fairytales, Inspiration, Lantern Hollow Press Authors, Melissa Rogers, Photography, Scotland, Travel and tagged beautiful books, books, library, lovely books, old books, scotland, university of edinburgh. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.