Library  of Celsus In Ephesus

The latest development is that Outfoxed is in final publication queue and the designers are preparing my print ready files, as well as the eBook. Then both will be uploaded into the distribution system. We must wait for approval from the distributor before making the title available for sale. Once the approval comes through, outfoxed will be officially published.

While writing outfoxed I spent many months at home in the library in front of my roll-top desk. My home library has always been comfortable and a rewarding place to be creative. 

While in high school at Northview Heights Collegiate Institute, I had worked in the library. At the time our school librarian was looking for volunteers to help during class hours and sometimes afterwards. I couldn’t think of a better way to skip some classes and be in a friendly environment surrounded with books. Feeling free and letting your imagination take flight was enormously satisfying.

Part of my responsibilities was  pushing the book cart around book shelves and using the Dewey Decimal number system to put the books back in their proper places.

A few years ago while cruising the Greek islands we had a stop over in Ephesus, Turkey. I was very impressed with the library of Celsus and found it absolutely thrilling. It was one of the most famous libraries excavated from the Greco-Roman period. And one of the most beautifully designed buildings with a two-story columned façade.  

Celsus served as a Roman senator and consul and when he retired in Ephesus, his son commissioned the library in his honor. 

The main floor functioned as a reading room and was lit by natural sunlight filtering in through the windows from the east. The books were without question rare, and the manuscripts were not to be removed or borrowed.

The main floor was laid out in rows and niches which were located on the inner side of the walls. The manuscripts were stored on shelves placed between these niches. The ancient scrolls placed on the upper floors were made accessible by two-story gallery, running along side of the walls in the building. 

Adjacent to the library are the gates to the Agora, the marketplace which was where all the shopping and trading was conducted. By today’s standards it would resemble a modern day mall on steroids. 

Many husbands left their wives at the market gates and conveniently entered the library. The city brothel was across the street and had secret access from the library through a tunnel, that ran under the street. It’s a well-known fact that many of the men of Ephesus were well read, and used the facilities of both establishments.

On the other hand Ephesus was home to many religious temples, and a few disciples like Paul and St. John who actually lived and taught there. Apparently it was a city fraught with impropriety.

The brothel, library and temples and everything in between portrays an intemperate lifestyle that was present in ancient Ephesus at the time. 

But the reality is nowadays we have the internet and no need to leave home for a myriad of things from shopping to online friendships. Also there is the Libby App that makes borrowing literature effortless. Because you can access thousands upon thousands of books using Libby and a library card without leaving home.

I know there are many who still prefer the tactile feel of a real book for turning pages and the sensation of touch. For the multi-sensory person the book stores and physical libraries are the still available. Personally I have the capacity to engage and enjoy both formats. But whatever your choice, please find the time to relax and read a good book.

From the LibraryThing:

A record number of libraries worldwide exceeded one million ebooks borrowed in 2022, setting a record for digital lending in the library sphere. According to a report from digital library platform OverDrive, 129 library systems exceeded this mark in 2022, up from 121 in 2021. The libraries in question are located in seven countries—the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Germany—with the record being set by the Los Angeles Public Library, which exceeded 10 million digital loans this past year.

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Library  of Celsus In Ephesus