As a child, I always had a library card. I would go to my local library all the time. I remember the day the official amount of books you could check out was increased from 6 to 12 and I was ecstatic. But I'd never been in a private library before, like the ones you read about in books. Until I went to Roundwood.
Roundwood House is a typical old Irish manor. Out in the countryside, the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and parklands. It is a huge house filled with antique furniture and paintings so old they were peeling off. It's been a house-hotel for years, but to this day it still retains its magic.
On my first day there, I was exploring the outhouses, when I came across a door. When I went inside I was greeted by the most amazing library I'd ever seen. The ground floor had old couches and armchairs and the walls were lined with books, to the right was a small, metal spiral staircase, leading to the mezzanine. The mezzanine went along the sides of the walls, maybe a meter wide, the long bookcases interrupted by small windows looking out over the parks.
Standing there in that wonderful library, I was breathless, and to this day, that magic still reminds me what reading is about.