Monday, October 20, 2008

A Personal Library To Top Them All

When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was convinced that I would be able to read every single book in the world (assuming I lived to at least 90, of course). It didn't take me very long to realize that I would probably never accomplish that goal, seeing as how I might need to learn a few dozen more languages.

Instead, I decided to concentrate on building my own library of books. When I was in middle school, I had a fairly small collection (maybe 100 titles) that I arranged in alphabetical order. On a sheet of lined notebook paper I created a sort of spreadsheet that included categories for "Person's Name", "Book Title", "Book Author", "Date Checked Out", "Date Returned." I then told my younger brothers that they were allowed to check out one book at a time from my personal library. Today, I still categorize my books, but I now have a few more than back then and I let my brothers check titles out without any paperwork involved.

Although I know I will never read every book ever written, in my mind I still imagine that one day I will build an addition to my house (which does not exist because I live in an apartment) with a library to rival this one:

New Englander James Walker has built a 3,600 square foot personal library to rival even some of the most well-known and beautifully curated public libraries in the world. Not only does Mr. Walker have editions of rare books (such as the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle), he has an amazing collection of artifacts (from the Nazis' Enigma machine to pieces of the Sikhote-Alin meteorite).

Please click on the photo above to see more images and to read more about Mr. Walkers library.

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