December 12, 2012 by chriszumtobel
“Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.”
Zadie Smith, in the New York Review of Books. (via thebronzemedal)
The quote and these photos of beautiful books in beautiful places are all of course from Bookshelfporn.com the greatest place on earth… I’ve spent far much time dreaming of living in any number of these places… Who knows… Maybe someday I will have some place better than them all!
And the second best website, which I found through the first best website, undergroundnewyorkpubliclibrary.com, where they post pictures of people reading on the subways of New York.
- Ray Bradbury’s Wise Words on Libraries (progressdaily.wordpress.com)