Public libraries are great, particularly when they're called OBA and stand in Amsterdam. In this largest library of Europe there's live piano music in the entrance hall played by anyone who feels like it. On the top floor there's a wonderful restaurant overlooking the city. And in between there are 28.500 square meters of books, computers, seats, exhibitions, meeting places and activities.
You easily loose track of time there and so did I last Saturday. Browsing through books on arts and crafts I discovered plenty. The most fascinating was A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield. 'Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire' is what it says on her website.
It's a book about the search for a perfect, unfading red. A story that covers centuries and continents, about a Mexican insect that once was a commodity like pepper, sugar and pearls. After reading fragments I ordered the Dutch translation Het volmaakte rood at my local library as soon as I got home. Red is one of my favorite colors and I'd love to read this book about it.