Libraries are fascinating places of contradiction. A library can provide respite for the weary. Or become the setting to galvanize and mobilize a community for social change. Some people seek libraries for solitude, a tranquil backdrop for reflective contemplation. For others, they bring satisfaction to an eager and voracious appetite for new information. We all need libraries, and a library within your luxury home in Mexico is a splendid affair.
In a classical Mexican library, long, tidy lines of books span the walls beneath soaring ceilings. Heavy planks of dark, aged wood comprise tables and bookshelves and frame the deep-set windows with open shutters overlooking the terraza.
Let’s imagine a tour of the quintessential library for a grand Mexican home, and discuss what we’re likely to find.
Beyond the rows of book bindings, what will first draw your eyes when we throw back the door and enter? Mexico has an abundance of extraordinary artisan communities. Therefore, an upscale library, within your luxury home in Mexico, will be rich with colors and designs. Both from local artists and national favorites.
Walk towards the window. Discover brightly woven coiling baskets nestled on shelves and traditional blue and white Talavera pottery shining on the windowsill. Check the walls for folk art bursting with vibrant colors depicting the diverse flora and fauna of the land.
Or, in more muted tones, surrealists such as Leonora Carrington or Rufino Tamayo may captivate your gaze with strange people captured in otherworldly surroundings. Perhaps the emotional and complex work of Jose Clemente Orozco may glow from the corners with dark and challenging themes.
Next, check the shelves near the elegant globe displayed on a stone pedestal to see if vintage maps, sextants, and barometers from long ago are tucked away close by.
Coffee table books within your luxury home in Mexico
While the decor is a pleasant diversion, the main attraction in any library is, undoubtedly, the books. The main table has a scattered assortment of oversized books depicting stunning scenes of all aspects of Mexico.
Here you’ll find titles about Mayan gods and Aztec temples. You have time to browse the pages, searching for familiar scenes from your own experiences of climbing crumbling pyramids and jumping into icy cenotes during your past travels. Other books within your luxury home in Mexico, detail the mysteries of Mexico’s rainforests, mountains, deserts, and seas. Take a moment to delve into scientific curiosities, such as the strange sleeping patterns of frigatebirds and the dining habits of whale sharks.
Fiction and nonfiction
But we’ve saved the best moments in the library for last. What treasures will you unlock as you search the shelves for your next great read in your luxury home in La Paz?
Are you ready to delve into history and culture? Uncover the works of Mexican journalist Elena Poniatowska, born in Europe but raised in Mexico. We highly recommend her book, Nothing, Nobody: The Voices Of the Mexico City Earthquake (Nada, nadie. Las voces del temblor) to understand the depth of trauma of the 1985 disaster.
To go further back in time, pick up The Underdogs: A Novel of the Mexican Revolution by Mariano Azuela. Azuela’s experience as a medic informs this story of an indigenous Mexican who joins Pancho Villa’s army in his quest to save his family.
For lovers of poetry
Octavio Paz will not disappoint. And if you are not yet fluent in Spanish, choose from several collections of his poetry. You may find it translated to English by Eliot Weinberger. Paz’s most famous poem, Sunstone (Piedra De Sol), is not only revered for its mastery of prose but also its novelty in structure. 584 lines and a single sentence circling back to the beginning reflect the measure and circular nature of the Aztec calendar.
Among the top books in literary fiction, you can enjoy classics such as Juan Rulfo’s novel Pedro Páramo. In the book, the title character promises his dying mother that he will visit her hometown to find his father. But when he arrives in town, he finds it filled with ghosts. On the other hand, Aura, by Carlos Fuentes, is a haunting book of magic realism. Cristina Rivera Garza is the only writer to win the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize twice. Her most well-known work, Nadie me verá llorar, tells the tale of a photographer who realizes that one of his subjects–a woman in a mental institution–has passed through his life before.
Enjoying your book
Our tour ends once you’ve chosen your next great read. The library opens onto a shaded terrace in your luxury home in San Miguel, and it’s time to take your book and limonada and meander across the terra cotta tile between potted burro’s tails and ponytail palms, settle into a comfortable hammock, and enjoy.