It got me to thinking that paranormal** libraries have a lot of potential. I'm not referring to libraries containing paranormal publications, but libraries with their own paranormal qualities. Kind of like a haunted house, but better, because it's full of books, and with that much great literature, it's gotta have a ton of personality.
But just how much has the concept been used in literature, already?
I found this list "great libraries in fiction" on Amazon, but only a couple of these books sounded like they might have some paranormal elements:
Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr by Garth Nix. The list author says: "If I ever die and go to fantasy heaven, I hope it resembles Nix's immense library beneath glacier and mountain, where each door opens into a separate mystery."
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett. The list author says: "This Discworld novel features the Librarian (who happens to be an orangutan) of the Unseen University's sorcerous library where the books have to be chained to their shelves to keep them from harming innocent browsers."
I also recently discovered Brenda Drake's blog, and she's written a book called Library Jumpers. Her logline: "The gateways between the great libraries of the world don't require a library card, but they do harbor dangers..." And if that isn't enough to entice you, she's collected pictures of AMAZING libraries from around the world.
Finally, I just came across a book (not yet released) by Victoria Schwab called The Archived. It's about "a teenage girl who must return the restless, ghost-like Histories of the dead to their rightful place in a labyrinthine supernatural library known as the Archive; when more Histories begin to wake and escape, she must stop the doors between the worlds of the living and dead from breaking open, all without falling victim to a beguiling History who is more human – and more disarmingly attractive – than the others."
OH my OH my do I want to read that one!!! (who am I kidding? I want to read ALL of them)
* I started researching this post a couple days ago, before I realized this is National Library Week. Somehow, the libraries were speaking to me. Proof of their paranormal potential, indeed.
** I debated using the term "fantastical libraries" instead of "paranormal libraries". Which resulted in googling the difference between fantasy and paranormal - here's author Michelle McLean's excellent research on the matter.
Have you read any books with wonderful libraries - real or magical? And where's your favorite library?