There are few things more relaxing than immersing yourself in a good book. Maybe it’s a rainy day, maybe you’ve finally got got your hands on the newest J.K. Rowling novel or maybe you’re just re-reading an old favorite. Either way, to ensure optimum mental health it’s important to unplug and appreciate the written word once in awhile. And the perfect reading spot? The library, of course.
Not only do libraries offer a wealth of reading material, but they also provide a quiet, distraction-free reading zone. While there are certainly some impressive real-life libraries, few match the ambiance of these incredible and iconic fictional ones. To get everyone’s reading-juices flowing, we’ve compiled a list of 12 of our favorites. Be sure to tell us your favorite fictional library in the comments section below.
In the Land of Ooo’s cavernous library, Jake and Finn meet the secret guardians of books, the Pagelings and learn valuable lessons about problem solving. They’re also constantly shushed by the librarian, Turtle Princess.
Evelyn, a librarian for the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, heads over to the City of the Dead in hopes of finding the Golden Book of Amun-Ra and adding it to her library’s collection. Instead, she comes across the Book of the Dead and—oopsie—accidentally awakens Imhotep. She also has an embarrassing library mishap.
The opulent, two-story library in which Audrey Hepburn learned to lose that pesky Cockney accent was actually modeled after the Château de Groussay library in France. All the singing just makes it that much better.
After a young Macaulay Culkin takes refuge from a storm in his local library, he meets the creepy librarian/Pagemaster (played by Christopher Lloyd) and is turned into an animated character. The Pagemaster then sends him on a fantastical adventure in which he must overcome obstacles from classic literature. Oh, and his companions throughout his journey happen to be anthropomorphic books.
The only way the extraordinarily intelligent Matilda Wormwood could cope with her ridiculous parents was by losing herself in books. Due to Mr. and Mrs. Wormwoods’ er…lackluster collection of reading material, she spent most of her childhood at the local library. After plowing through the children’s books at age four, she moved right along to typical elementary-schooler reading, like Charles Dickens and Herman Melville. All that time spent at the library paid off: not only was she whip-smart, but she also had super-cool telekinetic powers.
Miss Scarlett in the library with the candlestick! Okay, maybe not, but the library is where many of the shenanigans in Clue went down. The 1985 film was based on the classic murder-mystery board game and had several different endings, each of which revealed a different character as the killer. It was terrible, but it couldn’t snuff out our love for the original game.
If you’re looking to do some research on Mark Twain or read some classic literary books, Sunnydale High’s got you covered. And if you’re hoping to learn about witchcraft or organ harvesting, no worries: it’s also got an extensive collection of works all about the supernatural and paranormal and served as the defacto headquarters for the Scooby gang. Oh, and it’s also on top of Hellmouth.
Overseen by the severe librarian Madame Pince, the Hogwarts library is home to tens of thousands of books about everything from invisibility to dragons. As long as you’re not too loud, you can peruse through all the spell books you’d like. Just don’t ever try and smuggle in any food or sneak into the Restricted Section (unless you have an invisibility cloak handy).
Besides possessing superior fighting techniques and the ability to use the Force, Jedis know how to stock a library: the Jedi Temple library on Coruscant has reading material from all over the galaxy. Some of information is even so top-secret that only members of the Jedi High Council are allowed access to it. The archives are also visually stunning, and if you’re interested in checking them out in real-life, you can always jet on over to Ireland to visit the library at Trinity College; the Jedi Archives are almost an exact reconstruction.
Besides being miraculously well-designed for a high school library, the room in which a Brain, an Athlete, a Basket Case, a Princess and a Criminal could put aside their differences and become quasi-friends is iconic to say the least. Plus, there’s that infamous dance scene to “We Are Not Alone” by Karla DeVito.
Admit it: you wanted this library when you were a kid (or you at least wanted to slide down those stair railings). Wall-to-wall bookshelves, stunning architecture, ceiling-high windows, a toasty fireplace and a friendly beast—what more could you want?
The Library, featured in Doctor Who’s fourth season, is a massive, planet-sized library stocked with every book ever written. It even has a teleportation system to ensure that you can speedily find your next read. There’s not much else to say, except: why can’t this be real?