The ideal logotopia (William H. Gass)

In the ideal logotopia, every person would possess his own library and add at least weekly if not daily to it. The walls of each home would seem made of books; wherever one looked one would only see spines; because every real book (as opposed to dictionaries, almanacs, and other compilations) is a mind, an imagination, a consciousness. Together they compose a civilization, or even several. Utopias, however, have the bad habit of hiding in their hearts those schemes for success, those requirements of power, rules concerning conduct, which someone will one day have to carry forward, employ and enforce, in order to achieve them, and afterward, to maintain the continued purity of their Being. Books have taught me what true dominion, what right rule, is: It is like the freely given assent and labor of the reader who will dream the dreams of the deserving page and expect no more fee than the reward of its words.

From William H. Gass’s “Gutenberg’s Triumph: An Essay in Defense of the Book.”

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My Father Fallen — Vincent Desiderio

Bookshelf — Jessica Rohrer

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The Reader — Harold Knight

(c) John Croft; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

“How I classify” — Georges Perec

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From Georges Perec’s “Reading: A Socio-Physiological Outline.” Collected in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces.

A Compelling Reason — Felix Vallotton

The Library of the Palais Lanckoronski, Vienna — Rudolf von Alt

The Library in the Palais Dumba — Rudolf von Alt

Taking Stock — Hans Haacke

Library with Grey Sea — Jeremy Miranda

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Love Is Strange — Barry Windsor-Smith

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Something to Read — Vincent Giarrano

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The Library — Jacob Lawrence

Scrubwoman, Astor Library — John French Sloan