What kind of person doesn’t love snuggling down and getting cozy with a good book? While the hectic lifestyles that many of us live today don’t always lend themselves very well to the pursuit of reading as a hobby, there are now a variety of mediums through which stories can be experienced. Libraries have, in some cases, been slow in reacting to the changes in the way that people are now consuming literature.
There are two digital technologies which are particularly important to the evolution that the publishing industry has undergone in recent years. They are audiobooks and e-books. Audiobooks aren’t anything new. There have been books on tape for decades and as new recording mediums have become available, the publishing industry has been quick to adapt to them. E-books, meanwhile, have made it possible for us to carry around thousands of books on devices that fit in our pockets.
Despite embracing these technologies, among others, many of the most important libraries in the world still house collections of very rare books. Often, these libraries, which are still serving vital functions to a national culture, are among the most remarkably beautiful buildings in the world. Here we take a look at four of them.
Vancouver Public Library
The Vancouver Public Library is home to over two million books, making it the second largest collection in the whole of Canada. This library is also very big. It occupies an entire city block with the collection spread across various buildings. The Library Square, as it is known, is one of Canada’s most iconic sights and a must-see attraction for any book lover.
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Stuttgart City Library
The Stuttgart City Library is a minimalist masterpiece, the work of renowned Korean architect Yi Eun-Young. The library opened in 2011 and has a correspondingly modern look and feel, in spite of its’ white on white color scheme. Blue lighting has been effectively implemented around the exterior to make the building more distinctive than a simple white cube against the city skyline. Inside, the white and blue color scheme are continued and the minimalist approach is a perfect fit for a library.
Biblioteca Sandro Penna
This Italian library is a prime example of the retro-futurist style. The library was designed with a flying saucer in mind and it is easy to see this influence in its shape. The Biblioteca Sandro Penna is the smallest library on this list, but it is undoubtedly one of the most striking.
The Picture Book Library
Located in Japan, The Picture Book Library is a large collection of picture books from all around the world. The collection currently consists of more than a thousand picture books, housed in beautifully elegant wooden furniture.
Any of the libraries on this list would make for a wonderful experience for anyone who is passionate about books.