Everyone has a happy place. Some people find solace at Starbucks, while others enjoy the peace and quiet of an art museum or the warm breeze and sunshine of a park. For me, it's the library — and I've dreamed about spending time in these 14 fictional libraries in particular. There's just something about conjuring exactly what that old book smell what be like, touching those green glass lampshades, and seeing those the never ending rows of adventure, mystery, and romance. The unlimited possibilities can make a girl feel at peace with the world.
When I was a kid, I lived down the street from my small town's public library, and I spent many an afternoon with my back against a bookcase and a stack of mysteries at my side. When I got to college, I developed a love-hate relationship with the university library, but late-night breakthroughs and the occasional make out session in the stacks left me with nothing but positive feelings towards it. And now, as an adult, the library is still my happy place, the place I go to when my roommates are driving me crazy, when I need to buckle down and get some writing done, or when I need a new book to spend my weekend reading. It's quiet but full of energy, full of wonder. The library is my sanctuary.
I might seem like the ultimate nerd, but there are plenty of other people like me who are library-lovers too. Authors, screenwriters, and creative minds have been sharing their love for libraries in their books, on screen, and on the radio forever. Fictional libraries, not unlike the real things, have been portrayed as magical places, places of hope and wonder and mystery and salvation. Who wants to run away with me to these places, even if just in dreams?
The Library of Babel, "The Library of Babel" by Jorge Luis Borges
If you want to read a good story about a library, try reading one by a seasoned librarian like Jorge Luis Borges. What cooler library is there than the universe itself that contains ever book to ever be written, and those yet to be done?
Jedi Temple Library, Star Wars movies
The Jedi Temple Library was maybe one of the first to embrace the intersection of books and technology. It is filled with not only texts from the far reaches of the galaxy, but it also houses holobooks, datasticks, and all kinds of information storage devices. If you need to know something about, well, anything, this library might be a good place to start.
Italian Monastery, The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
For whatever reason, libraries seem to attract murder and mystery on a regular basis. Although you might be trying to avoid those two things — y'know, for good reason — it would be hard to turn down a chance to walk the winding labyrinth of Umberto Eco's fictional Italian monastery library, all 56 glorious rooms of it.
Belle's Library, Beauty and the Beast
What little girl watched Disney's Beauty and the Beast and didn't want to run her fingers over every book spine in the most beautiful library in cartoon history? I don't know about you, but I just want to go there so I can swing from the ladders while crying out with joy.
Night Vale Public Library, " Welcome to Night Vale" podcast
If you're a Helen Hunt fan (and come on, who isn't?), you might want to add the Night Vale public Library to your list of literary (fictional) landmarks to visit.The computers might be slow, the lending period is short, and you might meet your untimely death in the biography section by the hands of a faceless ghost (!!!!!), but some people find that kind of thing charming.
The Library at the Ministry of Truth, 1984 by George Orwell
Who hasn't wanted to go behind enemy lines before? With more than 3,000 rooms, the Ministry of Truth has plenty of places to plan a Big Brother sabotage mission. I'm not encouraging defacing a library, but it would be nice if someone would paint over the "WAR IS PEACE," "FREEDOM IS SLAVERY," and "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH" slogans outside.
Rivendell Library, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy
J. R. R. Tolkien masterfully imagined a gorgeous elven library in his Lord of the Rings books, but Peter Jackson's on-screen interpretation of Rivendell is flat-out stunning. The library is open and airy, and I can just imagine pulling an ancient book of legends from the shelves and getting lost in the adventure all afternoon, a warm breeze occasionally rustling the book's pages.
Morpheus' Library, The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman
Sick of waiting for George R. R. Martin to write the ending to his series? If you could go to the library from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comics, then could find any book — ones already written, ones yet to be completed, and ones that are still only dreams. That's definitely the kind of library I want in my town.
The Mansion Library, Clue
It was Mrs. Peacock with the lead pipe in the library. Maybe. If you like fun and games, and a little murder to boot, then visiting the library in the mysterious mansion from the Clue movie and board game could be a fun place to visit... as long as you make it through dinner first.
Hogwarts, The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
All aboard the Hogwarts Express, because we're off to the most magical library on the list. Keep your arms and legs inside the isle, because the books in this library bark and bite.
River City Library, The Music Man
Libraries are generally a place of peace and quiet, but the town library from The Music Man is a place of song and dance. Not only can you stop by for a quick musical number, but Marian the Librarian will be sure to share all the "dirty books," you know, by Chaucer and Balzac, with you.
People, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
In a world where books are banned and burned, a library isn't exactly the best place to visit. In Ray Bradbury's dystopia, people have to become living libraries. They might be hard to find on Google Maps, but these libraries would at least be better conversationalists than the brick-and-wood libraries you're used to.
Greendale Community College Library, Community
I wouldn't recommend the Greendale Community College Library as a place to go if you want to get some actual studying done, but if you're looking to let loose with your study group, this would be the place to go. Pillow fights, obstacle courses, and the occasional heart to heart are just as common as biographies and mysteries in this library.
Library of Middleton, Rex Libris by James Turner
When he isn't traveling the galaxy to collect late fees and battle rouge literary characters, Rex Libris is at the Middleton Public Library defending home turf. This library seems ordinary, but a visit there would be like a visit to your favorite sport star's locker room or going backstage at your favorite band's concert. Get your Instagram ready.