I work, as I've mentioned, at the Shimer library. It is a glorious job; after a traumatic or overstimulating class, I can sit with books quietly for a few hours and I get paid. For the past few days, I've been stamping all of our art books with a stamp that reads SHIMER COLLEGE.
Doré's illustration of the harpies in the Wood of Suicides (Dante's Inferno)
While stamping, I've been paging through a lot of books. I'd like our collection to be bigger -- we all would -- but what we've got now is its own kind of amazing. The Shimer collection is like your eccentric rich great uncle's private library. There may not be rhyme or reason or cohesion to what we've got, but browsing it is beautiful. I like to make myself some tea in the kitchen and sit with the art section -- it ranges from a book of Gustav Doré's illustrations for the Divine Comedy to a series on the collections of the world's greatest museums. There are words in these books, or so I hazily recall, but the pictures are the point, I think, and perfectly stunning at that. A few minutes with Magritte will cure most intellectual ills, I've found. The feel of glossy pages is highly therapeutic.
Magritte's La Folie Almayer