Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rare Book Room

I found a really wonderful website this morning that I want to spread the word about because I find it to be so fascinating. It's called Rare Book Room and it contains images of some of the rarest books in the world, just as its name indicates. That alone is enough to make the site worthwhile. But what makes it really special is the way that visitors to the site can actually flip through the pages of the books, reading as much as desired and getting a feel for what the readers of these earliest editions experienced. I can already see that I'm going to be spending way too much time on the site.

Rare Book Room can be searched by author, subject or library location and even includes things like music pieces by Mozart and photography from the 1890s and early 1900s. All told, approximately 400 books are available for your browsing, an opportunity that most of us will never have in the "real world." And if you can lose yourself in old photographs the way that I can, studying the details and wondering about the people in the pictures, the site is a double temptation when it comes to spending valuable "reading time" outside the pages of all those books that are stacking up in your TBR stacks.

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