The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World, photographs by G. du Laubier, text by J. Bosser, and foreward by James Billington, 2003 

 Featuring beautiful photographs of 23 libraries from 12 countries (France, Germany, England, and the US lead the group) as well as fascinating historical and architectural details in the texts, this is a book to savor and enjoy, though not to hold on one’s lap.  Definitely cocktail table size, it features the Boston Athenaeum, the Library of Congress, and the NY Public Library from our shores as well as perhaps the most unusual, the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England.  A reminder of how beautiful surroundings can enhance the reading and browsing experience.