The library seems to reach up to the sky. Heavyset columns, broad enough to support the heavens, bear up long balconies of cast iron filigree and gold-painted wood. Lush carpets line the walkways, muffling every footstep into silence. Lanterns hang from the glazed ceiling on long chains, filling the air with an amber glow.
And everywhere there are the books. Tall shelves line the walls, lower cases jutting out from them onto the balconies; the windows at each end of the room are flanked by bookcases, pressing in close to claim every available inch. The very air is rich with the taste of them, of a thousand thousand pages sleeping between their covers.
And in an ancient leather armchair, seemingly unaware of any of these wonders, her mind a million worlds away, sits a single reader with her book.