The Comfort of Being Book-Wrapt

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Julie Lasky, writing for The New York Times:

Mr. Byers coined a term — “book-wrapt” — to describe the exhilarating comfort of a well-stocked library. The fusty spelling is no affectation, but an efficient packing of meaning into a tight space (which, when you think of it, also describes many libraries).

So how many books does it take to feel book-wrapt? Mr. Byers cited a common belief that 1,000 is the minimum in any self-respecting home library. Then he quickly divided that number in half. Five hundred books ensure that a room “will begin to feel like a library,” he said. And even that number is negotiable.

And masses of books, he said, represent “delights that we hold in possibility” — the joy of being able to lift a hand and tap unexplored worlds. (Because who among us has read every single book in our libraries?) “I like to be in a room where I’ve read half the books, and I’d like there to be enough books that I cannot possibly read them in my remaining years,” he said.

Is there anything more comforting than walls bedecked with wisdom?