Hello! I’m LK Hunsaker and like my fellow authors here at Lindsay’s Romantics, I’m a library fanatic. As we’ve already heard inspirational stories and ways to help support your local library, I was trying to think of something different to add to the theme.
The library is indeed a magical place, and I often walked into town as a child to grab the next adventure. When you’re in a very small town in the middle of cornfields, you have two options for adventure (well, two safe and legal options): imagination and books. They work together.
Instead of regaling about my own hometown library, then or now (although I’m so proud of my local library that has just upgraded and spread with the community’s incredible help!), I thought I’d share an adventure in real life that includes both imagination and books: a trip to Dublin my husband and I took in 2008.
I have to say that overall, Dublin was not my favorite tourist spot. It’s very … well, touristy and packed full of university students who don’t exactly represent down-to-earth old-time Ireland. However, it was worth the time there just to find Trinity College’s library.
I wish I could have taken photos of the library itself. It’s not horribly large, but it is two stories and old-time with its dark wooden shelves and railing and flooring. And all of those books! What most people go to see, though, is what Trinity hosts:
The Book of Kells
This is not the actual book. It’s one of the very large posters in the (very crowded) room before you get in to see the book. Completed in 800 AD by Scottish and Irish Monks, The Book of Kells is actually quite small and thick. It holds the texts of the four gospels with gorgeous illustrations. In fact, only two of the pages, handwritten pages, are not illustrated.
The book, and a few other rare old texts, are carefully concealed in glass boxes in one of the library’s rooms where visitors can walk along and marvel at the artistry of the combined words and illustrations, and by how well preserved something so ancient can still be. For a writer-artist, this was an incredible view.
Unfortunately, no photos are allowed. That’s necessary, of course, since flash photography does degrade fragile materials, and the room itself is kept fairly dark for preservation. I may have to break down and order the CD (or maybe the screensaver since it’s much less expensive!) so I can actually look through the book. As it’s in Latin, I won’t be able to do more with the text than marvel at it, but I guess sometimes that’s good enough.
Libraries do indeed hold treasures. Some of these, if not all, are rare and priceless.
A book need not be over 3,000 years old to be priceless, however. I consider my set of a few old copies of the Hardy Boys series priceless, although I found them rather cheap in an antique shop. There is something about being pulled into a story and characters that can’t replaced by any other feeling in the world. Visit your own library to find out.
If you would like bookmarks for your local library for any of my books, contact me through http://www.elucidatepublishing.net with the library’s address and a contact name.
Alas, I didn’t find any leprechauns, unless you count this little guy, but there’s always next time.
Here’s to your own adventures!
~Literary Romance with an Artsy Twist~