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Archive for 'library'

Ancient Libraries: Library of Celsus

As a booklover, I adore libraries, and I spend many happy hours working and researching in my local library.

Libraries have been around since ancient times, and today I thought I’d highlight the Library of Celsus at Ephesus in Turkey. This is one of the best preserved ancient libraries, and it was built to commemorate Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus.

Over the centuries the library was damaged by earthquakes and locals plundered the materials to build their homes and other buildings. While some of the facade has been rebuilt, the Library is still very impressive. The first glimpse a visitor receives is down a long avenue.

Ephesus, Turkey 

This is the avenue leading down to the Library of Celsus. This is a very popular tourist attraction and it’s very busy with people year around.

Library of Celsus

Library of Celsus

Close up views of the Library of Celsus. (Click on photos to see a larger view) The facade is decorated with reliefs – the same fashions in use in Rome at the time. The building was both a library and a mausoleum for Celsus who is buried in a stone sarcophagus below the library.

A bit different from my local library but definitely fascinating.

Thirteen 18th Century English Resource Books

Thursday Thirteen

I’m busy researching in preparation to write a new historical romance series. My chosen time period is 18th century England, and here is a list of my current reading.

Thirteen Non-Fiction Books on English History

1. Great Houses of London by James Stourton, Publisher Frances Lincoln Limited

A book featuring some of the great houses in London with lots of great photos.

2. Georgian House Style Handbook by Ingrid Cranfield, Publisher David & Charles

Features the different interiors and furnishing of a Georgian building. Also a little about architects and the styles of house.

3. London in the Eighteenth Century by Jerry White, Publisher The Bodley Head.

This book is full of great info on the people, the city, work in the city and culture.

4. The London Square by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Publisher Yale University Press

A history of residential squares in London.

5. The Golden Age of Flowers by Celia Fisher, Publisher The British Library

Botanical illustration in the age of discovery 1600 – 1800

6. How to Create the Perfect Wife by Wendy Moore, Publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Georgian Britain’s most ineligible bachelor and his quest to cultivate the ideal woman.

7. Mid-Georgian Britain by Jacqueline Riding, Publisher Shire Living Histories

How we worked, played and lived.

8. Vauxhall Gardens by David Coke & Alan Borg, Publisher Yale University Press

A history of Vauxhall Gardens

9. The Secret History of Georgian London by Dan Cruickshank

How the wages of sin shaped the city.

10. Walking Jane Austen’s London by Louise Allen

A guide to nine walks that Jane Austen enjoyed.

11. Georgian London: Into the Streets by Lucy Inglis

A guide to 18th century London.

12. The Amorous Antics of Old England by Nigel Cawthorne, Publisher Portrait

All sorts of interesting snippets on courting.

13. Daily Life in 18th Century England by Kirstin Olsen, Publisher Greenwood Press

A book full of social history details.

Are you a big non-fiction reader? If so, what is your chosen topic?

13 Benefits of the Public Library

Thursday Thirteen

My introduction to libraries came at a young age, and I haven’t looked back. I spend hours in the library, so it’s a worthy topic for a TT.

Thirteen Benefits of the Public Library

1. It’s free. Anything free is good.

2. A library houses books and gives away information!

3. No matter what your interest, you’ll find books to suit your needs.

4. They have special story times for kids.

5. If the kids become too much, you can search the library catalogue online from the comfort of your home. I reserve books online all the time.

6. If another patron has the book you require it’s easy to reserve it, and the library email you when the book becomes available.

7. It’s a great place for research. The library is my go-to place for all things research.

8. Besides books, the library lends music, sheet music, audio books, videos and magazines. They also have computers and family genealogical records.

9. My local library does some nifty newsletters including a romance one. I subscribe to the romance, young adult, travel and history newsletters.

10. If the library doesn’t have a particular book, you can suggest they purchase it. My library is excellent in this respect.

11. The librarian stereotypes don’t fit. They don’t go around saying shush all the time. I’ve found them very approachable and willing to help. They’re up on social media these days. My library tweets.

12. I can return my books to any of the libraries in the Auckland area. Very convenient!

13. I can check out as many books as I want.

Are you a member of your local library? Can you think of any other benefits?

Where Do I Take My Date?

Thursday Thirteen

I picked up a fun book during my last visit to the library. It’s called Guide to Great Dates
by Paul Joannides and Toni Johnson and give details of places to go, an estimate of cost, the things you need to do to prepare ahead of time plus phone numbers and internet resources. I’ve chosen some of my favorites to include in my Thursday Thirteen this week.

Thirteen Places to Take a Date

1. Star Gazing – visit the local observatory and learn about the stars.
2. Never on a Sundae – go to a place that makes ice cream sundaes.
3. Making waves – go to the beach, watch the sun set and snuggle on a blanket.
4. Corn Maze Challenge – visit a farm with a maze and have fun getting lost.
5. Go fly a kite – build a kite together then go and fly it.
6. Renaissance Faire – hire costumes and visit a renaissance fair.
7. Go to a rodeo – he haw! Ride ‘em cowboy!
8. Visit a fortune teller or psychic – have your fortune read.
9. Hot Air Balloon Festival – get up early and watch all the balloons take off.
10. A drive-in movie – find a drive-in movie theatre.
11. The zoo – visit the zoo. Some zoos have special evenings or behind-the-scenes tours.
12. Play pool – go to a pool hall.
13. Factory tour – visit a jelly bean factory, a beer factory, a chocolate factory etc

And speaking of dating – one of the women who works with my sister has a father who has just entered a home for older people. She said to him jokingly that he’d be able to find a girlfriend. Her father said in a testy voice, “Have you seen the women in here?” I guess he won’t be going on a date anytime soon!

Do check out Guide to Great Dates because my list is a very brief summary of the ideas and details in this fun book.

What are some of your favorite places to go on a date?