"Trinity College Library, Dublin - the smell of old books is amazing : )" Is there anything as beautiful as a library? And just think, at this point if you started reading that library, you would not live to finish it. At least, not at my speed.
An alternative to chlorine pools, the BioTop Natural Pools use plants to keep water clean and clear. Wikipedia has some more info on natural swimming pools as well. These could make a great addition to a permaculture design site.
Here's a great example of a conventional pool turned into a natural swimming pond. They offer a much lower maintenance alternative to conventional pools and allow you to swim in clean, chemical free water.