The House - Library
Previous - this entry written on December 27, 2004 at 2:41 am - Next

(Oh, come on. You knew this room would be here somewhere.)

The library is the only room in the House with a set of double doors, both of them - like most doors here - carved. An open book is splayed across their combined width, characters from a hundred different tales peeking around the edges, looking down from the top, climbing out from underneath. Mice and frogs and cats and dogs, Alice and the White Rabbit, Master Li and Number Ten Ox, the kigh circling Bannon and Vree, dragons, faeries, Tolkein elves and the Mord Sith... the doors are indeed a work of art, more time spent on their crafting than on any others, more love and attention poured into the figures crossing them than could possibly be expected. The book itself is scribed in some other tongue, letters traced with silver, gleaming in the hallway's light.

The hall itself is quite wide and when the doors are opened it's easy to see why - they fan outward, demanding room aplenty, splaying unabashedly wide to show the treasures within the two-story room. Shelves line the walls, divide the room into sections, wooden ladders on wheels following a track about them to allow access to the more distant books. Several overstuffed chairs hold court with end tables and beanbags in the center of the room, well-lit by the bright lights above... and still well-lit when those lights are turned out, only the warm glow of beaded lamps on the tables and what light comes through the tall, narrow windows illuminating the area.

The shelves are loosely categorized but beyond that, no order is kept save in one small, half-hidden section. The logic, explained to any guest who asks and even a few who don't, is that with this many books, why limit yourself to the book you already know well enough to look for? This way, you're bound to find new treasures or old friends each time you search for something.

The only real exception to this anti-organization is the small glass-fronted cabinet, home to a few precious treasures - handbound books, leather and velvet and soft papers, books signed and sealed, books hand-written, old and new, each one unique. These are treated as both priceless items and favored friends, often brought out and read just to keep them fresh in memory.

Also in this cabinet, occupying most of one shelf and about to spill down onto the next, a collection of once-blank books are arranged. Each filled book bears a pair of dates scribed on the cover, marking the time it was begun and finished, a chronicle of the House and the lives of those who occupy it. Each fresh book was found the day the last page in the book before it was scribed, discovered on a shelf or in some corner of the room, once unearthed from beneath a chair cushion, twice found resting against a window, often sitting square on one of the beanbags or tables, ready to be written. Each book is unique in form as well as content, some leatherbound, some with wooden covers, some wrapped in cloth, others done in paper, all of them with handmade paper that seems to drink in any ink applied, embracing the words and sealing them to the page.

The room, from sturdy shelves to velvet drapes, hamd-woven rugs to spackled ceiling, is full of warmth and a sense of timelessness, the entire world and all its wonder condensed into the pages found here and the strange knicknacks that have somehow gotten onto the shelves. Glass floats scavanged from a favorite cove, a pair of huge, fluffy feathers, a tiny doll with jewels for eyes and a dress woven from gold thread, kalidescopes, marbles, puzzle boxes... bits and pieces from a hundred different journeys, each with their own tale, have found a place between the books.

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