This afternoon I hung out at the library with these guys.
They're from a book on heraldry that I picked off the shelf at random because it was huge and ancient, therefore potentially interesting.
This book was originally published in 1908, so it should be safely out of copyright. The edition I lugged over to an armchair and opened on my lap was a reprint from 1968.
I read a little bit of the introduction, and immediately liked the author. He was keen to explain to the reader that the modern science of heraldry in the (brand new) 20th century was way beyond the amateurish speculations of Victorian scholars. He dissed one lady historian in particular, saying that she had "managed to compress an unconscionable amount of rubbish" into her writings on the subject. Now if that ain't a classy put-down, I never heard one.
The book was enormous. I needed two hands to carry it. I neglected to check the page count, but it contained seemingly endless catalogues of the coats of arms of every family alive during the medieval era. Every little detail of every illustration was meaningful. It was taken with great seriousness. I, on the other hand, had a hard time taking it seriously. I mean, come on. Look at this dude:
Did a knight actually run around covered in badly drawn birds? I suppose if he was right there in front of me, ready to run me through with his sword, I would flee without stopping to point and laugh. But if I did get safely away, I would have a good chuckle at his silly bird outfit later.
When I got tired of the heraldry book, I heaved it back onto the shelf and went upstairs. There's a new art exhibit every couple of weeks up here, by local artists.
It's a pretty nice library. I visit it every two weeks or so, after I've met a friend for our regular breakfast chat. It's peaceful there, usually.
Do you enjoy spending time in libraries?