The Library

This is not an original idea whatsoever – I have seen it done at least in Doctor Who and Avatar, and I’m sure many more. It’s like a dream place for book lovers!

I was thinking about it one night while trying to sleep, and parts of it came to me so vividly that I had to get it written down. This is what I ended up with – I tried to have some fun with the language, so please let me know what you think! (not you, spambots)


Here is every book that’s ever been written – and every book that ever will be.

As long as there has been writing, there has been the Library. From the outside, you couldn’t hope to see it all: on the inside it folds and turns back upon itself, creasing with the endless peaks and valleys of origami to fit inside it humanity’s insatiable lust for stories.

Once, stories were just sounds and shapes – told around a fire by humans waiting for their prey, they lasted only as long as their listeners’ memories. Without form the stories drifted into nothingness, filling up the void in the human subconscious with whispered fragments of truth. When we learned to write, we gave the truth life.

In The Library there are Ancient tomes in languages now dead to the world, covered in dust, their real life counterparts already crumbled into nihility. It’s not real dust of course – nothing here is real, not in any strict sense – but the human mind has a way of seeing only what most makes sense. Some are etched on clay tablets; they contain the answers to mysteries still unsolved by human science.

Here, classics grace the shelf alongside novels that were never known. Would it be a comfort, I wonder, for these failed writers to know that while their work never lived, it will also never die? Probably not. Just as well this isn’t for them.

This wing of the Library is for diaries – for what is a diary if not the private novels we all make of our lives? Why else would humans spend so much time writing down their inner thoughts and feelings, if not for some sense of prosperity? Golden-edged manuscripts detailing the inner thoughts of Princes and Saints are not kept in special cabinets, but sit next to the Hello Kitty padlocked diaries of children. The Library doesn’t care which has more worth.

And what about the books that were never finished?

They’re beneath your feet. Look carefully, and you’ll see that everywhere you step is made of them. They push up like fish to feed. As you walk you hear the sound of crunching frost, and feel your feet sink in as in freshly laid snow. But your senses are only trying to make sense of what they can’t: you’re making tracks in a thousand half-planned stories. Fragments of poetry cling to the soles of your shoes, all those tales that never had the chance to be told still clinging on, begging to be relevant. They bridge the gaps between the Library’s expansive rooms.

If you lived a thousand lifetimes you couldn’t hope to read even a fraction of the works here.

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