A Bibliophile's Eight Favorite Libraries

I love books. Therefore, I love libraries. And everywhere I've lived, I've owned a library card...and used it well. So I thought I'd take a few moments to reflect and share on my favorite libraries, of all those I've visited (though I have not belonged to or borrowed from them all). I came up with eight. They are:

The Cincinnati Public Library, downtown branch, on Eighth Street (above). I grew up with this library. I knew it back when it was just a kid, back when I was just a kid, and my mom worked a mere block away. Now it's a whole city block, and it's wonderful.

The public library of Bloomfield, New Jersey (above). These were some of the best library years of my life, from 1987-1991, when my kids and I would visit this library almost every week. Oh, the fun we would have. We felt like robber barons leaving the library with a weekly treasure trove.

Lane Public Library, of Hamilton, Ohio. I have used the heck out of this fine library, with a fine website and convenient branches in Hamilton (the main branch, pictured above) and Oxford.

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. I've only been there once or twice, and was too overwhelmed to do much more than gawk.

A few years ago, I visited Nashville to attend the National Pastors' Convention, and enjoyed several lengthy visits to this fine downtown library, just a block away from the convention center.

The lovely Robin and I took a walking tour of Nassau, Bahamas, a few years ago, and I was delighted that this stop was included: the public library of Nassau. While the library's collection is very old and very humble, the fact that it is housed in a barely converted ancient jailhouse added to its interest and charm.

The New York Public Library. I think I've only been here once, but the experience has stuck with me for more than twenty years now. It's awe-inspiring.

This is the only private library on my list, the library at Chatsworth, a grand English house that is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. I was here with my wife and kids in 1995, and it made me break the tenth commandment. But it was still fun.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite- Ohio University, because they let me go into the rare book room when I wanted unsupervised.