I’ve noticed that with a love of books naturally comes a love of cats. I appreciate cat people, you’re all great people and, as Sir Walter Scott would say, cats are a mysterious kind of folk. They’re always associated with literature, perhaps because they’re as puzzling as books can be sometimes. I love them, but I still don’t think canines get enough cred in the literary community.
Dogs are more in-your-face, but their intelligence and extent of love is immeasurable. Despite not having thumbs these fur babies are capable of so much more than we know. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s proof with pictures of dogs reading fine literature. Thank me later.
Man, oh man, remember college? Those were the days. I remember staying up all night binge reading, and flirting (in my head) with librarians. Oh, and weekends. Oh boy, that’s when I’d come alive. I could binge read two whole books on a really good weekend. Wild times. Also, I had tons of friends.
Anyway, if you didn’t already, these magnificent university libraries will make you ache for your glory days.
1. George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University
Image Via Johns Hopkins University
Containing over 300,000 books, the George Peabody Library dates back to 1857. It’s a towering stack of historically significant and rare books. Also, you can get married there. And you should, and invite me.
2. Uris Library, Cornell University
Image Via Wikipedia
Having opened in 1891, Cornell’s Uris Library looks very much like a 19th-century construction. More specifically, it looks like the sort of place you’d find Charles Dickens poking his head around, or maybe Emily Dickinson hidden in the stacks. It looks like you could suffocate in the books, which is the way I want to go.
3. Suzzallo Library, University of Washington in Seattle
Image Via Digital Photography Review
The University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library is not only home to one of the world’s largest books—the Bhutan Book, whose pages are turned once a month by library staff—but also to one of the coziest-looking reading rooms on the planet. Doesn’t it make you think of Hogwarts?
4. Fisher Fine Arts Library, University of Pennsylvania
This 1891 library has long attracted the attention of architects. Frank Lloyd Wright once said of it, “It is the work of an artist.” It is in fact, having been designed by celebrated Philadelphia architect Frank Furness. The reading room is designed to allow an enormous amount of natural light in, and I’m sure the students appreciate Furness’ foresight.
5. Butler Library, Columbia University
Image Via Wikimedia
Having opened in 1934, this gorgeous library cost only $4 million to construct. It was during the Great Depression, after all. Containing 2 million books, this library makes me wish I had been smart enough to get into Columbia.
6. Klarchek Information Commons, Loyola University of Chicago
Standing out from the crowd, Loyola’s Lake Shore campus in Chicago is home to the extremely modern Klarchek Information Commons (the IC). It opened in 2008 and is notable for its scenic location. It gives library-goers the opportunity to overlook Lake Michigan from the comfort of their fully-furnished reading space. I’m jealous.
7. Hale Library, Kansas State University
Image Via Kansas State University
Hale Library looks like a sort of rural paradise. The bright stonework and differently-shaped roofs (I’m not an architect) make it look like a kind of mirage you’d stumble upon scouring the hillsides of the midwest. Maybe a nice country couple will welcome you in for a nice cup of joe and a bowl of grits. I don’t know, I’m doing my best here. It’s a nice library, in any case.
8. William W. Cook Legal Research Library, University of Michigan
Cook Library in 1935. | Image Via University of Michigan
This one opened in 1931, just a year after famed lawyer William W. Cook’s death. He had not wanted any buildings on campus to be named after him, but since he died before the library’s completion, the university decided to ignore his wishes. Yikes.
9. Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Image Via UNC Chapel Hill
The Louis Round Wilson Library served as UNC Chapel Hill’s main library until 1984, but it still houses several special exhibitions. As of right now, they are currently exhibiting “Sounds of ‘68: Revolution in the Air,” where they are displaying classic LPs from people like Frank Zappa and Aretha Franklin. Groovy.
10. Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, University of Chicago
Image Via ArchDaily
The most modern library on the list, Joe and Rika Mansueto Library opened on UC’s campus in 2011. From the outside, it looks kind of like a gigantic robot cockroach, but in a good way. From the inside, it looks like an enormous, naturally-lit reading area. That’s what you’d hope from a good library.
Librairie Mollat is France’s first independent bookstore, and has been around 121 years. And it’s alive and well in the digital age! It has an absolutely killer Instagram that features some amazingly creative pictures with book art. Librairie Mollat’s Book Face series features the shop’s employees holding books up to their faces (obviously), which seamlessly appear to be the person’s actual face (even if that face is a bear’s face, which is the best one).
Check out some of our favorites below, but get the full experience on Librairie Mollat’s wonderful Instagram here!
Nicholas Rougeux, an artist who has previously created visual images of famous novels’ punctuation is back again with a new way to look at literature. This time it’s through astronomy. His latest work is a series of posters that visualize the first lines of novels as constellations.
In each constellation, the first word is a starburst, with every subsequent word shooting out at an angle from the previous. The angle itself is determined by the part of speech, while the length of the line connecting words is determined by how many letters the word has.
Rougeux wrote on his website that he “didn’t intend to create constellations. I just wanted an interesting visual way of looking at text but quickly found that what I was creating resembled constellation maps.”
Usually in class, you begin taking notes and then your pen slowly drifts to the margins and begins doodling some stick figures doing things. The notes sometimes don’t even get taken, but when they do, they don’t look nice. Most people probably aren’t rushing to their chemistry notebook to look at their lovely notes. The opposite, really.
But, if you think about it, beautiful notes make studying more enticing. They can only improve things for bored students. Note-taking becomes less a begrudging slog, and more of a thoughtful art. So let’s give it up for, and maybe envy, the best note-takers on the internet, courtesy of reddit’s r/PenmanshipPorn.