Thursday, September 11, 2008

The most dizzying collection of Invisible Library books ever?

{Photo by rocketlass.}

Suggestions for additions to the collection of the Invisible Library continue to roll in (and slowly be catalogued by our poorly trained, uncommunicative, yet cheerful staff of Oompa-Loompas and Ugnaughts). But it's going to be hard for anyone to top this contribution from Stephany Aulenback of Crooked House, the vertiginous array of invisibooks found in Julia Donaldson's Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book. Writes Stephany:
The story starts with Charlie Cook, who is curled up reading his favourite book, Shiver Me Timbers; in which a pirate is reading his favourite book, Fairy Tales from a Forgotten Island; in which Goldilocks is reading Baby Bear’s favourite book, The Bearo Annual; in which a knight is reading a joke out of his favourite book, Joust Joking; in which a frog jumps upon the book Incredible Stories of Real Birds; in which a rook’s nest is lined with pages from his favourite book, A Country Childhood; in which a little girl’s mother reads a magazine called The Posh Lady’s Magazine; in which a criminal in prison reads his favourite book, Improving Stories for Wicked Thieves; in which a crocodile reads My First Encyclopedia; in which an astronaut reads Out of the Worlds: A Collection of Ghost Stories; in which a ghost called Underarm Alice (she usually carries her head around under her arm, unless she puts it back on to read) is reading Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book.
Whew. I hope our staff didn't have grand plans for the weekend.

While I'm on the topic of libraries, I thought I'd share a new entry in another, less formal collection I've slowly been building: my Dream Library, stocked with books that only appear in my dreams. Until recently the only entry was Robin Anne Powter's Ghost Whim: A Cultural History of Dreaming, but the other day, as I nodded over Ulysses on the L, I dreamed that as Leopold Bloom wandered Dublin he carried under one arm an attractively designed volume called Camus' Book of Counterimplications. The very fact that Bloom had a volume of Camus nine years before Camus was even born suggests that Bloom may have had access to an unusual library or two himself.

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