Secret Library Doors

I have always dreamed of having a secret library, someplace I can hide away with my books, and shut out all distractions. Of course, since I spend a large part of my day writing, it would end up being a library office, but the idea is still the same. My husband and I are finally getting around to converting one of our extra bedrooms into a study for me. I’m wonder if now is the time to make this dream come true.

There must be a lot of other book lovers out there with the same dream, since a quick search of the web results in hundreds of plans and ideas. These are some of my favorites.

Image Courtesy of Julie Garman Interiors,llc
Image Courtesy of Julie Garman Interiors, LLC.

When I was young, I was fascinated by stories set in English manor-type homes. They always seemed to be filled with hidden rooms, priest holes, servant stairs and cavernous attics. As a result, I first found myself drawn to rooms hidden behind bookcases.

Image Courtesy of Architecture & Design 2014
Image Courtesy of Architecture & Design 2014

I especially like this one, since the library door opens to a room with a tea-table. What could be more enticing than a good book and tea?

Image Courtesy of makendo via Instructable
Image Courtesy of makendo via Instructables

 

Unfortunately, I don’t live in a vintage manor with a bespoke library filled with antique books. I decided to look for something more realistic. For those who like DIY projects, reader makendo shared plans for a modern bookcase on Instructables.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Secret-door-bookcase/?ALLSTEPS

They are too complicated for me to make, but surely I can find someone to build them for me since I have instructions.

Image Courtesy of Architecture Design
Image Courtesy of Architecture Design

Of course, the first step in the process is to decide where I would like to have my hidden bookcase. I’ve already decided to line one wall of my new study with free-standing bookcases; the other three walls have doors, windows, radiators, and other issues. One of the best things might be to install a SLIDING bookcase to cover an existing double closet. The image shows something similar used to hide a washing machine. 

More inspiration: http://www.architecturendesign.net/14-secret-bookcase-doors-always-fun-and-always-mysterious/

 

What do you think? Do you have a favorite secret door bookcase? Do you have one in your home?

What would you like to see in WroteTrips? If you would like to see more posts like this, like, comment or share. If I get 100 new friends, I will mail out an ARC copy of Tokyo Kill to a U.S. winner. If I get 500 new followers, I will mail it internationally if the winner lives outside of the U.S.
If you have already friended me, and would like an opportunity to win, just comment and share.
Giveaway ends Friday, June 12, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. EST.

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Armchair Traveling

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Like my new Armchair Traveling post and intrigued by my review of Tokyo Kill? Then I’ve got an ARC of Tokyo Kill for you. To win, friend me on Facebook, share the Tokyo Kill post and comment. If I get 100 new friends, I will mail out an ARC copy of Tokyo Kill to a U.S. winner. If I get 500 new followers, I will mail it internationally if the winner lives outside of the U.S.

If you have already friended me, and would like an opportunity to win, just comment and share.

Giveaway ends Friday, June 12, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. EST.

Remember: friend, comment and share.

Armchair Traveling with Barry Lancet in Tokyo Kill

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Barry Lancet has created a fast paced mystery in his second novel, Tokyo Kill. His familiarity with Japanese culture and history allow him to paint a vivid landscape across which he deftly moves his characters in a complex, twisty thriller.

Lancet joins a group of authors who, in my opinion, describe their locations so precisely that they become travelogue-esque. If you have visited Tokyo before, the novel will call the city clearly to mind. If you have not visited Tokyo, Lancet’s portrayal will make you yearn to go.

Tokyo Kills takes the reader on a comprehensive journey through Tokyo, from humble neighborhoods to lavish resorts.

Described as a “youth magnet,” Kōenji is a bedroom community named after old temples located within the Suginami ward. Like popular student habitués around the world, the area is filled with casual dining options, a suburban version of underground culture, and used clothing & music stores.  Kōenji is reported to be the home of the punk rock music in Tokyo, and the pulsing music can still be heard in the clubs.

Restaurants and food stands vie for space among the shops. Traditional selections include yakitori eateries, which grill-to-order over charcoal fires. Originally, yakitori referred only to skewered chicken meat, but now the term has expanded to include such non-poultry delights as pork belly, beef tongue, mushroom and tofu.

Yakitori on grill. Image Courtesy of 竹麦魚 (Searobin)
Yakitori on grill. Image Courtesy of 竹麦魚 (Searobin)

Far more upscale locations are waiting to inspire the armchair traveler. The luxury Hotel Chinzanso featured as a meeting place in Tokyo Kill, is known for its fabulous gardens filled with historic artifacts. The gardens are built in the Kaiyuu style, which usually feature green grasslands, a pond, a Tsukiyama (earth molded to look like a small mountain) and winding rivers.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Chinzanso
Image Courtesy of Hotel Chinzanso

Lancet also includes well known, popular attractions in his novel. A visit to Uenzo Zoo brings the famous pandas and pygmy hippos into the story. The Ueno Zoological Garden is the oldest zoo in Japan, and the flagship of all the zoos in the country. Founded in 1882, it has expanded to encompass over 35 acres which are home to 26,000 animals. In 1972, the first giant pandas arrived from China.

Image Courtesy of Ueno Zoo
Image Courtesy of Ueno Zoo

Even a touristy cruise along the Sumibo River, with their ubiquitous views of the Tokyo Sky Tree, the tallest tower in the world, makes an appearance.

Image of Tokyo Sky Tree Courtesy of Kakidai
Image of Tokyo Sky Tree Courtesy of Kakidai

More world destinations, such as those found in China; Miami, Florida, and the Caribbean make Tokyo Kill an armchair traveler delight.

Hotel Chinzanso http://www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com/

Ueno Zoo   http://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/ueno/main.html

Tokyo Sky Tree http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/

Giveaway opportunity

Are you intrigued by this review of Tokyo Kill? To win, friend me on Facebook, share this post and comment. If I get 100 new friends, I will mail out an ARC copy of Tokyo Kill to a U.S. winner. If I get 500 new followers, I will mail it internationally if the winner lives outside of the U.S.

If you have already friended me, and would like an opportunity to win, just comment and share.

Giveaway ends Friday, June 12, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. EST.

Remember: friend, comment and share.

University of Texas at Austin Offers Help to Flood Victims

 

Image Courtesy of UT Austin
Image Courtesy of UT Austin

 

Many of you are aware of the floods still ravaging Texas. If you, like me, have family or friends living in areas with high water, please let them know conservators and students at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information are available to provide advice and limited disaster recovery assistance to help flood victims salvage damaged family treasures.

Wet papers and photographs, textiles, scrapbooks, books and other sentimental objects should be frozen, if possible, and not thrown out, the conservators say.

Losing such items can be devastating after disasters such as floods. Luckily, many things can be salvaged with proper guidance.

Flood victims are urged to contact the iSchool for advice on conservation at 512-903-9564 or response@ischool.utexas.edu.

Faculty members and students also plan to host salvage workshops in areas most affected by flooding during the next few weeks and will schedule those sessions soon. Please contact response@ischool.utexas.edu if you are interested in hosting or attending a salvage session.

For more information, contact: Karen Pavelka, School of Information, 512-903-9564.

http://news.utexas.edu/2015/05/26/ischool-can-help-flood-victims-save-documents-and-heirlooms?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=UTAustinNews

Five Memorable Television Libraries

Television, like a magic carpet, transports us to many amazing places. Some of my favorites feature bookstores. Some are fanciful; some are mundane, but they all created a thirst for adventure and sparked my imagination. Here are some of my favorite fictional TV libraries.

Time Enough at Last, The Twilight Zone

The remarkable Burgess Meredith exults in a post-apocalyptic setting, rejoicing that he finally has time to read all the books he wants. Always alone, but never lonely, Meredith found the world of books more welcoming than his real life. I first watched this episode as a fairly child, firmly sandwiched within a clutch of rowdy siblings. The climactic cry of “it’s not fair” rang true.

Bonus Episodes:

Twilight Zone revisited library settings in other productions. Meredith also starred in The Obsolete Man, in which he played a stoic librarian standing against a dictatorship. In The Library, Frances Hardman Conroy, known for her outstanding performance in American Horror Story, played an aspiring writer who takes her craft a little too seriously while working part time in a private library.

Twilight Zone Full Episodes:

The Library: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8kGHrlhZlw

The Obsolete Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQhHxdexrmk

Time Enough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lp_FwTYUt4

Silence in the Library, Dr. Who

Dr. Who recklessly travels through time and space saving worlds while purportedly leaving historical timelines unaltered. For all his futuristic prowess, he still quaintly relies on paper books. His love of the arcane is fantastically apparent in Silence in the Library, which features an unbelievable planet-sized library filled to the rafters with every book ever written. Best of all, any book you request comes straight to you.

Image Courtesy of School Library Journal

This episode also contains one of the favorite fan geek cries,

The Librarians, TNT

For those who believe reading is their super power, The Librarians serves up a healthy dose of action heroes banded together to solve mysteries, catch mythical baddies and save the world from certain destruction. Part geek chic, part Indiana Jones, the lavish Library contains not only books, but fantastic artifacts.

Image Courtesy of Critictoo.com

Sunnydale High Library, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I spent my high school years living in Sunnyvale, California, so I was predisposed to love Buffy and her Scooby Gang. Trying to survive high school is like living on the edge of a hell mouth, so vampires, werewolves, witches and other things that go bump in the night weren’t that much of a stretch for me. Giles, librarian and slayer trainer, not only keeps all underworld info at his fingertips, he also keeps a handy cage of weapons just in case.

The Land of Ooo Library, Adventure Time

Tiny origami warriors called Pagelings, secret guardians of The Land of Ooo library, battle the book eating Moldos. Their campaign, aided by series protagonists Finn and Jake, is constantly shushed by librarian Turtle Princes.

What is your favorite television library?

Midnight Magic in Type Books

Some memes ponder what readers would do if locked in a bookstore overnight. This amazing stop-motion short proves books are enjoying a magical life without us. Wonderful dancing in the aisles by books in this musical shelfie. 

Type Books
883 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 366-8973)

MUSIC:
Grayson Matthews
http://www.graysonmatthews….
http://itunes.apple.com/alb…

DIRECTOR, EDITOR, AND CINEMATOGRAPHER
Sean Ohlenkamp (http://www.ohkamp.com)

VOLUNTEERS & CREW:
Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp
Mike Takasaki
Hannah Charlick
Liz Walker
Andrew Carty
Filipe Da Luz
Ruth Ann Cachero
Justin Turco
Adam Tuck
Michael Groppo
Curtis Denomme
Shannon Farrell
Steffi Raike
Jean Marc Douville
Mikhail Ferrara
Clayton Vrenjak
Rob Sturch
Marie Rupolo
Nery Orellana
Mike Greco
William Chong
Terri Vegso
Michael Leishman
Emma Leishman
Mike Kolberg
Ryan Speziale
Natalie Mathers
All the amazing books, authors, and publishers out there.

So who wants to help us do the Library of Congress next?