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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on August 5, 2006
137 color plates distinguish Candida Hofer Libraries, beautifully capturing seats of knowledge around the world from the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York to the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris, the Villa Medici in Rome and others. Aside from a brief introduction, no essays intersperse the eye-catching plates, each of which takes up a whole page with a blank page opposite in a two-page spread. The snapshot images speak for themselves in this captivating compilation highly recommended for bibliophile's coffee tables and photography shelves.
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on April 7, 2008
A picture is worth a thousand words! This book says so much and yet there are only a handful of words on each page identifying the library in the photo. As I was "reading" through this book, I realized that I have been in many of the cities or countries where these libraries are located. I missed some beautiful sites. For anyone who has an interest in libraries, this is a must "read." I will be giving this to my son, who is an architect. His specialty is libraries.
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on February 18, 2014
This is truly a dessert for the mind without the guilt of the calories. Beautiful places taken beautifully. Perfect for the person who loves reading and exploring libraries. This is something I may have to order for all my readers this next Christmas.
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on September 12, 2014
Hoffer photographs libraries as though she were photographing the inside of a great museum. Her photographs of libraries all the way from USA to Europe amount to beautiful artwork, evoking majesty and history. In a way, old libraries are museums; they were designed to resemble the insides of stately homes, so that whoever paid for them could show how rich and powerful they were. Whether they were built by kings and queens, or by the Medicis, or the Carnegies and Rockefellers, they always have the best when it comes to architecture and décor.
The juxtaposition is clear when it comes to the times. The libraries will either be wood-paneled and luxurious, or the kind of modernist carpeting that would make George Jetson proud. Few of the photos have any people in them, which allows the photographer to concentrate on the interiors. However, I the people who frequent the libraries tell you a lot about their true purpose. Take for example the library on Second Avenue and St. Marks Place in NYC; it’s full of homeless people who sit there all day, and those that aren’t homeless spend all day with their laptops. NYC’s public libraries are a notorious refuge for the homeless, so I wonder if it’s the same with public libraries in London, Paris, and Milan? Do Europeans bring their laptops into the library the way Americans do?
Unfortunately, young people don’t spend as much time in libraries as they used to. Whereas up until perhaps 2004, young people did their research at the library, now they use the internet. They no longer head for the library to do that social studies project, and as a result they don’t discover all those other books they have. It’s a shame that such a great resource is going to waste.
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on February 19, 2015
If you love books, and photography and dreaming of exotic locations, this is the book for your coffee table. I love every single page of imagery and information .
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on October 15, 2015
Stunning photography! Great cathedrals of learning!! Excellent book!!!
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on August 24, 2013
Beautifully taken photographs showcase some of the best libraries our world has to offer. A wonderful coffee table book, a centrepiece and piece of art itself.
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on December 31, 2010
Great book...if you like that sort of thing. Actually it was a gift...for someone who likes that sort of thing!
11 comment4 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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