6 Remarkable Literary Libraries I Long to Visit

October 19 2020

There is nothing quite like a visit to the library. Between the sweet smell of used books, hushed silence, and the countless stories just waiting to be unleashed, libraries feel like absolute heaven to me. As fellow bookworms, I’m sure all you readers can understand. And when I’m able to dive deep into a captivating read that is set in an enchanting library—well, that’s all the better. Take a minute to explore some of my favorite titles that are each set in or around beautiful and magical libraries. All these settings harbor an extensive catalog of books that I long to explore.  

The Book Charmer
by Karen Hawkins

What could be better than a magical library complete with a gifted librarian just waiting to match you with the perfect read? Meet Sarah Dove. For Sarah, books live, breathe, and sometimes even speak. When Sarah grows up to become the librarian of her quaint Southern town named Dove Pond, her gift helps place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, the books have been whispering about something out of the ordinary: the arrival of a displaced city girl named Grace Wheeler. If the books are right, Grace could be the savior that Dove Pond desperately needs. 

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The Book Charmer
Karen Hawkins

New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins crafts an unforgettable story about a sleepy Southern town, two fiercely independent women, and a truly magical friendship.

Sarah Dove is no ordinary bookworm. To her, books have always been more than just objects: they live, they breathe, and sometimes they even speak. When Sarah grows up to become the librarian in her quaint Southern town of Dove Pond, her gift helps place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, the books have been whispering about something out of the ordinary: the arrival of a displaced city girl named Grace Wheeler.

If the books are right, Grace could be the savior that Dove Pond desperately needs. The problem is, Grace wants little to do with the town or its quirky residents—Sarah chief among them. It takes a bit of urging, and the help of an especially wise book, but Grace ultimately embraces the challenge to rescue her charmed new community. In her quest, she discovers the tantalizing promise of new love, the deep strength that comes from having a true friend, and the power of finding just the right book.

“A mesmerizing fusion of the mystical and the everyday” (Susan Andersen, New York Times bestselling author), The Book Charmer is a heartwarming story about the magic of books that feels more than a little magical itself. Prepare to fall under its spell.

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

In Barcelona in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Daniel, an antique book dealer’s son, discovers a mysterious book titled The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. This magical read captivates Danielas good books dosparking his curiosity to read other works from JuliáCaraxAs he sets out to find the author’s other works, he discovers someone has been destroying them all. In this quest, Daniel unintentionally opens a door to one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets—an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love. 

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The Shadow of the Wind
Carlos Ruiz Zafón

As Barcelona slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son, finds solace in what he finds in the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books”: a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, his seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets—an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

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The Starless Sea
by Erin Morgenstern

THE STARLESS SEA entails another enchanting library complete with a magical story. When Zachary Ezra Rawlins discovers a mysterious book filled with tales of prisoners, key collectors, and acolytes, he is perplexed to find that it also details notes from his own childhood. Deeply confused, Zachary begins his search to uncover why his life has been recorded. And in this search, he runs into a series of clues that lead him into an ancient library hidden below the earth. As he explores the hidden city that this library transports him to, Zachary discovers the consequences and great lengths people have gone to protect this secret realm.  

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The Starless Sea
Erin Morgenstern

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MENTIONED IN:

6 Remarkable Literary Libraries I Long to Visit

By Holly Claytor | October 19, 2020

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The Library Book
by Susan Orlean

THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean is a true story centering around the 1986 Los Angeles Central Library fire, a work of arson that destroyed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. This engrossing book details the investigation following the fire and the important role that libraries play in our society. Any library lover will deeply appreciate this book.  

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The Library Book
Susan Orlean

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The Borrower: A Novel
by Rebecca Makkai

Lucy Hull is a children’s librarian turned kidnapper when she finds that her favorite ten-year-old patron, Ian, has run away from home. Lucy has been helping Ian smuggle books past his overbearing and strict mother. Desperate to save him from his family, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian when she finds him camped out in the library after hours. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip, leaving Lucy to question whether this was truly the right thing to do. Is she saving Ian from his parents or is she attempting to run away from her own life?  

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The Borrower: A Novel
Rebecca Makkai

Lucy Hull, a children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. Ian needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly anti-gay classes. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian when she finds him camped out in the library after hours, and the odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip. But is it just Ian who is running away? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

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The Case of the Missing Books
by Ian Sansom

A library on wheels would definitely be a sight to see! I would love to visit the traveling library in Ian Sansom’s THE CASE OF THE MISSING BOOKS. Israel Armstrong has traveled to Northern Ireland to begin a career as a librarian. But this new gig does not turn out to be what he imagined. Israel is tasked with driving a mobile library around the small, damp villageTo top it all off, the fifteen thousand books that the library is known to contain have mysteriously gone missing. Now, it's up to Israel to discover who would steal these volumes and why. This light and humorous book is a must-read for any booklover.  

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The Case of the Missing Books
Ian Sansom

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Photo Credit: Brankospejs/iStock

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