Writing Prompt – The Best Library EVER

You are in a library with every book ever written.

  • Before you begin writing, consider how incredible this would be. Any book you could possibly want is here. There is no need for inter-library loan; it is at this library.
  • This library contains a printed copy of every printed book ever written.
    1. It includes every edition and every translation. It does not contain every book in every language. It only contains translations that have actually been written.
    2. This library even contains books that are considered to be lost
    3. You can determine whether it also contains eBooks. This will depend on the world and time period you choose. A contemporary world like ours might have eBooks. A library in a science fiction world with a highly advanced culture is likely to have eBooks, but a medieval library in a fantasy world will not have them. On the other hand, maybe there is a magical equivalent to eBooks.
    4. This library does not contain books that have not yet been written. You determine how the library adds new books and how long it takes them to acquire a copy.
  • How large is the building? Does it fill an entire city? Maybe the entire city’s population works in the library.
  • How are the books stored:
    1. Are they on bookcases hundreds of feet high?
    2. Are the books floating in the air?
  • How are the books cataloged? This will depend on the technology of the world.
  • Do you find a book in the catalog and then go to the appropriate section to get it yourself?
    1. Because the library is immense, then maybe you place a request and wait for an employee to get it. What sort of employees perform this task? Humans, flying drones, gnomes?
    2. Whoever retrieves a book might need the ability to fly considering the size of the bookcases. The means of flight will depend on the world. Maybe the library instead has scaffolding with staircases for each bookcase
    3. You do not order a book and have it delivered to your home. You go to the library in person.
  • How do people move through such a large library, especially if it is the size of a large city? This will largely depend on the world you choose.
    1. If it is a fantasy world, then maybe it uses flying carpets.
    2. If it is in an urban fantasy world, then maybe it has a roller coaster network like Gringott’s Bank.
    3. If it is a science fiction world, then maybe it has flying cars.
    4. If it is a contemporary world, then maybe it has a trolley network.

You are free to use this prompt in your own writing. If you print it or post it online, however, please credit this post.

About henrywm

I am interested in Christian theology and church history. I also enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and stories which wrestle with deep questions.
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