Though there are a plethora of beautiful real-life libraries to visit, there are also many that we would love to go and see but unfortunately… they don’t exist. Here are just a few of the fictional libraries we all wish we could visit.
1. Citadel Library (Game of Thrones, by G.R.R. Martin)
The library in the Citadel effortlessly earns a place on this list. If it’s not obvious to you why: I’ll say it simply. So. Many. Books.
To add to its lustre, features like: the diagonal staircase, its extraordinary height and whatever the blooming big ornament that hangs in the middle is, all add to why it is on the list. Plus it contains pretty much the entire history of Westeros.
2. Hogwarts Library (Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling)
A beautiful school library with beautiful old books. It may not be as impressive or imposing as some of the others on the list but it has a special place in all our hearts. Especially the restricted section.
Who wouldn’t want to learn about magic from the same books that Hermione, Ron and Harry did?
3. The Library in the Institute (Mortal Instruments, by C. Clare)
Built into a tower of the institute, this library is filled with hundreds of books. However, its true appeal lies in the museum like features dotted throughout the library. Fairy rings, statues, crowns are beheld in glass cases between the bookshelves.
The books, old and new, are educational on demons, how to fight them and their history. The haunting, gothic look of the library compliments its atmosphere and only makes it more beautiful.
4. Babel (The Library of Babel, by J.L. Borges)
A world of hexagonal rooms filled with books; every wall, in fact, is covered with books. Said to contain every possible book that could ever be created, the inhabitants believe that the books contain every possible combination of letters. Though it would take a lot of sifting through the books of total gibberish, the library of Babel is a must-visit for all fictional library lovers.
Though it would take a lot of sifting through the books of total gibberish, the library of Babel is a must-visit for all fictional library lovers.
5. Rifthold Castle Library (Throne of Glass, by Saraj J. Maas)
In Erilea, the Throne of Glass world, many of the books have been burned: the topic of magic is forbidden to be written or read about.
However, a few hidden gems can be found in this library recording information on magic, demons and history. Though it is the personal library of the king, it is also one of the largest collections in Erilea. Its exclusivity makes a chance to visit this library even more exciting!
6. Jedi Temple Library (Star Wars)
Only accessible by members of the Jedi High Council, this is another members-only gem. The library contains a plethora of reading material, retrieved from all corners of the galaxy.
Although the library doesn’t contain paper books, it does have a multitude of holobooks, data sticks and other ancient information storage devices which you can read from.
7. The Library (Doctor Who)
Containing every book ever written, this is a booklover’s definition of heaven. This library is the size of an entire planet, with one moon to orbit it.
Of course, there is the chance of being devoured by flesh-eating shadows but no library is perfect, right?
8. The Brooks Hatlen Memorial Library (The Shawshank Redemption)
In my opinion, this would be the most heart-warming, heart-breaking library going experience: to walk in the footsteps of Andy Dufresne, Red and Brooks would be the most incredible, inspiring adventure.
And I’d love to see what books the council gave them in the end.
9. Beast’s Library (Beauty and the Beast)
When I was a child, I thought there was no place quite so wonderful as beast’s (and Belle’s) library. As enthused as Belle herself would’ve been, I held this library on a pedestal up until adulthood. I still do.
The enormous windows, which flood the room with natural light; the spiralling stairs, which allow access to the higher end of the soaring bookshelves and the vast expanse of books themselves, all add up to why this is personally my favourite fictional library of all time.
There is an infinite number of fictional libraries that I’m sure we’d all love to visit; these are just a few that I consider the most desirable whether it be for beauty, information, novelty or nostalgia. But, as long as there’s plenty of books in the libraries we can visit, we won’t get too heartbroken that these libraries are unvisitable.
Ok. Maybe we will.