“The Library of Babel” by Jorge Luis Borges gives you more of a profound outlook on the ideas behind the story, instead of simply following a fixed storyline.

The Library, also known as “the Universe” is filled with a series of seemingly never-ending hexagon shaped rooms. Upon closer look of the books, we discover that most books in the Library don’t make sense. According to the narrator, there have been multiple theories as to why. The books could be written in code, or possibly in an unfamiliar language.

After attempting to figure out the secret behind the books, it was discovered that since each book in the library was different, the books contained every possible combination of characters in the world. Everything that could possibly be put into writing, in every possible language. People were desperate to discover the meaning of life, and everything they ever wanted to know. A weakness is that the people soon become violent and chaotic when they are unable to find anything meaningful in the books. A strengthening factor was that a “total book” could explain all of the others, however, the library was too big to find it. The library is infinite, meaning that even though you eventually see all of the books, the library repeats itself. The narrator finds peace in this sense.

I would recommend this story because it gives you something to wrap your head around, and really makes the reader think twice about his own world.


Works Cited: Borges, Jorge Luis. “The Library of Babel” Short Fiction An Anthology: Second Edition. Ed. Levene, Mark, and Rosemary Sullivan. Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.