FARMINGTON – Any booklover will tell of the doors reading can open – that whole worlds can exist between the pages. At the Farmington Public Library, that’s literally the case.
The children’s storytelling room in the library resides behind two hand-carved storybook doors. The wooden doors, designed and carved by local artists Bev and Tom Taylor, were installed at the library’s grand opening in 2003. Seventeen years later, the doors still usher children into the land of storytelling.
The Taylors spent 400 hours working on the doors, which weigh 230 pounds each, before ultimately donating the pair. In an interview with KSJE radio station after the completion of the doors and re-released by the library this week, Bev said she had the idea for the doors to hinge in the middle like a real book would, instead of from the sides. The goal was for it to “look like one of these wonderful, old books that you can take off the shelf, open up and then magical things happen,” she said.
Bev said her husband, Tom, calculated how thick each of the pages needed to be to have a realistic curve like that of an open book. “It’s fun to see it transpire. You start with a two-dimensional idea designed out on a flat piece of wood and then you take your knives and your chisels and your pounding tools and things just start to emerge.”
The carvings feature a 4-foot-tall green dragon reading a book titled “Human Tales,” a Rapunzel look-alike with a blond braid hanging from an ivory tower, a ship at sea and a rumored treasure chest hidden in the sea cave for those brave enough to lay down on the floor for a quick peak.
In addition to the carvings, the two “pages” feature the opening line from famous kids’ books like, “All children, except one, grow up,” “It was a dark and stormy night” and “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of Number 4 Privet Drive.”
The first line of Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends” concludes the storybook doors: “If you are a dreamer, come in.”