As you may remember, last week I referred to the Dewey Decimal Classification system, used by libraries worldwide to organize books. While it isn’t for me on my home shelves, I must admit to being slightly obsessed with it as a child: after all, what could be more geeky than dividing everything into 10 categories, then dividing those into 10 more categories, and then dividing those into 10 more categories.
(My only qualm, using a young boy’s logic, was that it seemed ridiculous that the vast majority of sports could be covered simply by the number 796: in my system, sport would have had 100 numbers to itself at least.)
It seems I’m not alone: the Dewey system is at the heart of what I’m declaring the geekiest hotel in the world: New York’s Library Hotel. Not only is the entire hotel themed around books and art, but its 10 guest floors are individually themed to the 10 main classes of Dewey categories. Even better, each of the six rooms on a particular floor are assigned a sub-category and then filled with books and artworks on the subject.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper geeky hotel without a mistake which visitors could pick up upon. In this case it’s that the numbering system only corresponds with Dewey as far as the floor. So, for example, room 506 (or rather 500.006) is themed on astronomy when, technically speaking, it should be based around organizations and management. That’s because the room numbers actually signify the size of room rather than the content.
There are also a few liberties taken with the floors. With the lowest two floors of the hotel not available to guests, the 000, 100 and 200 categories are housed on floors 10 through 12. And “Computer science, information & general works” is rebranded simply as general knowledge.
Space being tight in New York, these concessions are understandable. But I would love to see an eccentric billionaire take the concept to Vegas and open a hotel with a thousand rooms to cover the entire Dewey system. After all, who wouldn’t want to stay in rooms 369 (Miscellaneous kinds of associations), 628 (Sanitary & municipal engineering) or 636 (Animal husbandry)?
If you do get tired of books, the rooms also contain a DVD player and movies taken from the American Film Institute’s choice of the 100 greatest moves of the 20th century. And if for some strange reason you should feel the need to leave the hotel, the New York Public Library is only a couple of blocks away.
Oh, and if you were wondering, the most requested room at the hotel is 800.001 which, in this case, houses erotic fiction.