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The Library Deeps

December 18, 2010

photo credit

They opened the door and stepped in.

They stopped.

The library deeps lay waiting for them.

Out in the world, not much happened. But here in the special night, a land bricked with paper and leather, anything might happen, always did. Listen! and you heard ten thousand people screaming so high only dogs feathered their ears. A million folk ran toting cannons, sharpening guillotines; Chinese, four abreast, marched on forever. Invisible, silent, yes, but Jim and Will had the gift of ears and noses as well as the gift of tongues. This was a factory of spices from far countries. Here alien deserts slumbered. Up front was the desk where the nice old lady, Miss Watriss, purple-stamped your books, but down off away were Tibet and Antarctica, the Congo. There went Miss Wills, the other librarian, though Outer Mongolia, calmly toting fragments of Peiping and Yokohama and the Celebes.

-Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

18 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2010 7:17 am

    One of my absolute favorite quotes from Something Wicked This Way Comes! Excellent choice.

  2. December 18, 2010 7:28 am

    I haven’t read this book, but love the quote! And isn’t that an absolutely gorgeous library in that photo?


  3. December 18, 2010 9:27 am

    Beautiful, inviting image paired with a favorite quote. Thanks for the morning boost!

  4. December 18, 2010 10:17 am

    I want to be there with my hot tea.

  5. December 18, 2010 10:31 am

    I’ve never thought of myself as “calmly toting fragments” of anything, but I love that imagery! When I get back to work next week I’m sure that will stick in my head.

  6. December 18, 2010 1:42 pm


    Talk about a trip to my past. I miss the purple stamp and the ancient library lady…

    And I would love to curl up in a chair in that room and spend an rainy afternoon there.

    Thanks, Eva.


  7. December 18, 2010 2:46 pm

    Beautiful quote, Eva! Makes me nostalgic about Ray Bradbury – his love for books comes through in every sentence! I love that picture you have posted too – so beautiful!

  8. December 18, 2010 3:25 pm

    Ahhh … Bradbury’s depiction of the library is one of my very favorite parts of “Something Wicked…”. That photo you found makes me want to just climb into it and stay for a very long time :)

    • January 5, 2011 12:47 am

      I know! I was debating between this bit and the one where they’re hiding in the library. His descriptions are so magical. :)

  9. December 18, 2010 5:24 pm

    Oh so lovely, especially as winter hits!

  10. December 19, 2010 8:19 am

    That library is just the sort of place we had in mind when we decorated our home.

    It didn’t really work though. Our home is much too small to pull of a look like that.

    But I love it.

    • January 5, 2011 12:49 am

      I love it too, although I doubt I’ll ever have a home bigger enough to pull it off! I’ll have to go for a cosier look. ;)

  11. December 19, 2010 6:11 pm

    What a fantastic quote! Can’t wait to hear more about this book.

  12. December 19, 2010 6:40 pm

    I read Something Wicked This Way Comes years ago and hardly remember it, but this quote makes me want to revisit it. While sitting in that library!

  13. December 19, 2010 8:14 pm

    I love this quote too…it’s been copied out into my commonplace book (along with a lot of other Bradbury) Love this picture as well — makes me want to curl up in a comfy chair and spend the entire week reading.

  14. December 21, 2010 2:23 pm

    Love the quote and sure wish I could sit in that library and read for awhile!

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