I'm really into books (the more pictures the better!). Most of my design inspirations come from "date nights" at Barnes & Noble (exciting life we lead I know).
Most of it happens by accident, I go looking for one book and find something else. I'm looking at a book about Falling Water and next thing you know I'm paging through a book on Moorish tiles ...
... and then you know where that leads ... to some big crazy hoop earrings.
But I love this process, the accidental discoveries, so I was dismayed/intrigued/amazed at the new library at the University of Chicago.
They've made it a virtual library only - no books on shelves, no perusing the stacks. All the books are underground in the giant vault that can be accessed by a giant robotic arm. All 3.5 million of them ...
I'm all over the place with my opinions on this one - I love cutting edge architecture, but hate sterility. I love a streamlined process, but I'm all about fortuitous findings. I love the idea that the books still exist (albeit underground), but what if the power or internet goes out? no robot to retrieve my book?
What do you think - do you want to roam the stacks or would you rather do that Kindle thing?