It's amazing how you learn so much just by participating on this forum -- who knew that bats are the best bug patrol for keeping bugs out of books?!
I have been to Mafra and frankly the monastery itself left me cold. It is so severe and imposing and unwelcoming, I thought. But the library, wow. Maybe some of the unused portion of the monastery could become an albergue. That certainly would increase its human warmth.
So, I have a question for fans of Portugal: where does this apparent love for books and libraries come from? These librairies have no equals that I know of in the world , so I am curious. You didn't see libraries like these in other monarchies, did you? Russia, France, nope... Furniture, paintings yes, but books?