Library in the Forest

I’m participating in Fun-a-Day, a daily art challenge through the month of January, committed to do a daily post here detailing some Big Art Idea or project that looms somewhere out in my future.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a complete sucker for outdoor rooms.  I remember when I went to Burning Man in 2004 and saw that someone has set up a complete living room out on the playa, a couple couches an end table, a table lamp, maybe a TV or something.  I was completely charmed all out of proportion to the simplicity of the installation: a few pieces of furniture outdoors.

I still love it when I discover open garden rooms, what are those called?  You know, like a room with maybe three walls and a roof, open to the rest of the garden?  A cabana? A gazebo? Stuff like this room created by Tara Dillard and Susanne Hudson:

Garden Room by Tara Dillard and Susanne Hudson

You can see more of this beautiful garden installation here.

Saline Valley Lending Library

And of course, I love books and reading.  For me my fantasies of outdoor rooms involve sitting in relative luxuriant splendor reading. Because, seriously, what else could be better than reading in a comfy chair… outside?

When I came across the Take A Book / Leave a Book library at the visitor-maintained hot springs in the middle of the secluded Saline Valley in Death Valley National Park, I was completely taken with the idea.

Books! A library!  Outside!  An amazing idea.  (Of course, books outside in a place that almost never rains is less problematic than some places. But still.)

So naturally when we were talking of things we wanted to magically discover while out on a Walk-About, I thought of a Library in the Forest.

Library in the ForestThis would be complete with several nice comfy chairs that you could relax into, and read a good book for a few hours.

Simple, easy to construct, self-maintaining.  A magical thing that you’d only know about if you’d accidentally stumbled upon it, or if you’d been told by friends who’d stumbled upon it.

Naturally, keeping the books from becoming a native mildew habitat is a technical challenge, but whatever.

2 thoughts on “Library in the Forest

  1. I love the idea too! Although the mildew problem is daunting even inside the house. When we lived in the trailer it was bad. But still, I want to do it! I’ve been thinking of a cross between Bookcrossign and geocaching — and to maintain it, it would really have to be someplace where you can be all the time – like at home! Although, a library in the wilds of Wilder or Henry Cowell would be very cool! I know some hella cool places on the extreme upper UCSC campus too (some totally awesome caches and totally awesome shrines highlighted by caches! – and people could come by on their bikes! We can deal with the mildew problem somehow — world’s largest Lock and Lock container with lots ofthose little “Do not eat” packages?

  2. A contractor I used many years ago does the Burning Man as often as he can.

    Love my outdoor pleasure grounds & dependencies. Especially at under 1/4 acre. Feels like Europe, in another century.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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