I still remember the first time I truly fell in love with a book: it was in sixth grade English that I was introduced to the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Whether it was the eccentric characters, the visually descriptive otherworldly settings, or just the poetic way the novel read, there was something about The Hobbit that left such an impression on me, and to this day I can not only say it is still one of my favorite books of all-time, but I will begrudgingly admit that I have been counting down to its cinematic arrival for quite some time now. Alas, times have changed, books have been replaced by Kindles, iPads and DVDs and literature is sadly becoming obsolete (at least for a lot of people). That’s why in our media-driven, technology-savvy world, it’s a refreshing sight to see a metropolitan community acknowledge the timeless literature that once shook the world. Peek at Downtown Kansas City Library‘s new parking structure.
The “Community Bookshelf” stands at 25 feet by 9 feet, showcasing an eclectic array of 22 titles from poetry, to children’s stories, to the classics, chosen by the community and voted before a board of trustees. The iconic building was designed by Dimensional Innovations, using signboard mylar with applied large format graphics, showcasing Kansas City’s variety of literary tastes.
Of the 22 book casings are: Kansas City Stories Vol. 1 & 2, a volume of children’s stories (including Goodnight Moon, Green Eggs and Ham, and Winnie the Pooh), Catch-22, To Kill a Mockingbird, Charlotte’s Web, Romeo and Juliet, and of course J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. (See the full list here)
I’m curious to know if the showcasing of specific titles has made an impact on which books library members actually check out. Either way, it’s cool to see classic literature celebrated in an artistic way, as demanding of attention the wall may be. I only hope that it inspires people to take a break from the computer screen and indulge in a good book every once in a while.