If you’re a booklover, libraries are your sweet paradise. They have an unlimited collection of unique books, spoiling you with choices! Walking by racks and racks of books that are waiting to be read, is everything a book lover dreams of. And libraries are where these dreams come true.
In libraries, there is an endless number of good reads, of whatever genre you want. And unlike a bookstore, libraries are a treasure chest for old books. It’s said that the more tattered the book’s condition is in a library, the better it will be because more people would have read it. Books in libraries sometimes have somebody’s name, or a year, or a heartfelt message written in the beginning, making them all the better! Because that means that they were someone’s priced possession once. Isn’t that beautiful?
A library gives you the treasured feeling of curling up with a good book and reading it in peace, all while breathing in the beautiful smell of books. There are all kinds of amazing libraries around the world. Here are my favorite top 10:
1.State Library of South Australia
Established in 1834, this library is a massive collection of books and a lot more! It has a rustic yet royal vibe, with endless racks of books and bright golden lighting. Some of its furniture, tables, chairs, and racks have been there since its establishment. Not only that, but two lamps and some wallpaper has also been there for over a hundred years now. The beauty of this library lies in its details, with the exquisite balcony structure and design on the rooftop. Time stands still there, giving it the same appeal as back in 1834.
The library is part of a building called the Mortlock Wing, which also houses archives, exhibitions, and a café. It also has a widespread collection of old photographs and artwork dating back to 1850, out of which many are digitized and are available on their catalog. With a free membership, it can be used for research, group study, or just some good ol’ reading.
2.Royal Portuguese Reading Room
You’ll feel like a Royal when you enter this library because it looks like it belongs to a castle. Opened in 1887, this library is located in Rio De Janeiro. It is also home to 350,000 books, and the number is growing each day rapidly. With complete wooden racks and a skylight that splurges the room with natural light, this library is a reader’s haven. It stores within its walls pieces of Portuguese history with rare copies of literature belonging to the 1500s.
The library also has paintings done by Portuguese artists, along with statues of historical figures of Portuguese history. This Reading Room is nothing less than cultural heritage, as well as a sight for sore eyes. Located in Rio De Janeiro’s city center, it is an underrated attraction for tourists. Don’t miss out on its limestone exterior and rare design when you visit Rio De Janeiro!
3.Stockholm Public Library
The exterior of this library may fool you into thinking that it’s a plain old, simple library. But the inside is nothing short of magnificent! Inspired by an architectural design called the Swedish Grace, this library officially completed in 1932 and houses more than 2 million titles! It’s 360 degrees top, also known as a rotunda, adds to its unique appeal.
When you are inside, its circular roof makes it appear vast, making you feel like you don’t want to leave. The architects made sure that its architectural design looks modern and alluring. It also has a separate section for international titles that has over a hundred languages, making the library a welcoming place for everyone. Its uniqueness in this respect makes it one of the most amazing libraries around the world!
4. Seattle Central Library
This library has a unique structure out of all the amazing libraries around the world. On the exterior, it is an abstract take on a stack of books arranged in a spiral. Located in downtown Seattle, this library opened up for the public in 2004. It consists of not only books but also hundreds of computers. Fun fact: when the project for the structure was first pitched, it received a 20 million dollars donation from Bill Gates himself.
This library has the most modern features, including automatic book sorting, self-checkout, underground parking, and a wireless internet connection—the interior looks like a high-tech office with colorful chairs and tables of modern designs. Even if you don’t love reading, you have got to visit this library sometime!
5.Austrian National Library
The largest in Austria, this library has a history dating back to the middle ages. Later, it became an Imperial library, which served as a library for the court, and then in 1920, it was named the Austrian National Library, open for the public. It has all notable works of Austrian culture or history, along with will publications of all Austrian authors. In this way, this library has preserved within itself the very culture and essence of Austria, making it one of the most amazing libraries around the world!
Apart from books, the library has a globe and map museum, with several items belonging to the 16th century. It also has a music collection of many notable composers, some of which also contain personal notes by them. It has a remarkable interior design, with racks of books instead of walls, a dome on the ceiling, and detailed designs embossed on every surface. Reading a book in this library is nothing short of a royal experience.
6.National Library of Belarus
Located in Minsk, this library is shaped like a diamond on the outside and looks like a shining one when it lights up at night. It opened in 1922 when it had just a little 60,000 books. After The Great Patriotic War, it lost many of its items but retained some rare and unique copies that are still there today. Finally, in 2006, after nearly 15 years of construction, it opened again, this time with a modern design and a glass surface. Today, it contains over 9 million titles on subjects spanning from arts, culture, history, mythology, and social studies.
This library is a traveler’s delight as well, because it has an observation deck on the 23rd floor, along with a café. It is also known for hosting events, summits, forums, and exhibitions. It has 20 reading halls and a lifetime supply of information. Whether you love books or not, this library is worth paying a visit!
Located in Paris, this library is a two-storied building, with the lower floor being a storage room and the second floor a reading room. It finished construction in 1852 and is now a part of The University of Paris, also available to the public. It has an iron structure, which was popular at the time and is brought out through its arches and columns.
While it may look simple on the outside, it’s a reading room that is stunningly designed, with massive windows that let in a lot of natural light. The room is rectangular, with long tables, chairs, and racks against the walls. It is revered to have a modernist style, which adds to its charm in making it one of the most amazing libraries around the world. It contains over a million documents and is a popular place for research and study for students, professors, and the general public alike.
8.Halmstad City Library
Located in Sweden, this library stands right at the bank of river Nissan. It completed construction in 2006, and since then, it has provided its visitors the joy of reading right next to nature. Its vast windows look right outside to the trees and river, completing a perfect picture of peace. It has a reading room, cafeteria, children’s area, gallery, and a reception. It also has all forms of media in more than 50 languages, including books, movies, theses, video games, digital books, and music.
The winner of several Architectural awards, this library has three floors. It has huge windows made of glass and is a beautiful sight when it lights up at night. It generates healthy air inside it, making it perhaps the most environment friendly of the amazing libraries around the world.
9.Salt Lake City Public Library
Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, this library has been standing at its current location since 1998. It is a massive structure of modern design and urban architecture. It has a glass structure, and offers a stunning view of the city and the mountains, along with a garden on the rooftop. It also has shops, an amphitheater, cafés, an art gallery, a kid’s area, and an urban reading room.
This library is rich with digital titles, music, and movies, creating a fitting ambiance for all types of people. Its five-storied building is always brightly lit with natural light. It is also the recipient of the 2006 Library of the Year Award. Rest assured, a visit to this library is a wholesome experience, whether you’re in the mood to read, eat, play or shop.
10.Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
Located in downtown Vancouver, this library opened for the public in 1995. It has a unique design, which is supposed to replicate the structure of the Colosseum in Rome. Its glass structure provides a breathtaking view of the entire expanse of the city. The architects ensured that it was environment friendly by adding to it features like a green roof which is self-sustainable without the need for fertilization or grooming.
This library is known to be multi-faceted, complete with shops and underground parking. It hosts several events and workshops, which have regular visitors. Readers come here for its aura of calm and serene, and many students come for research and study work too. Visitors also have access to computers and digital libraries. All in all, this library is a mix of nature and modernity, making it one of the most amazing libraries around the world.
All these amazing libraries around the world are any bibliophile’s dream come true. They are all unique in their ways, with some retaining their ancient look, and others adding modern elements. Remember to add these to your bucket list and visit them as soon as you can!
To find out about more amazing libraries around the world, click here.