By Nadjwa Tajudin on April 24, 2019
Do you have any fond memory of going to the library when you were a kid? I do! I remember hiding my favourite novel on the top shelf, discussing about school projects and using the internet to edit my profile on Myspace. I spent most of the time borrowing books from the school’s library when I was a child since it helped me to reduce anxiety. If being immersed in a good book could sweep you away into another world, how about reading a good book amidst a spectacular place? Read on to find out the seven bewitching libraries where you can visit to take your reading experience to a different level!
1. Rumah Attap Library & Collective – Malaysia
Founded in 2017, this humble library is located in a row of restored 1950s shophouses in Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur. Although it is relatively smaller than an actual public library, its cozy and homey atmosphere will tempt you to dive into their vast selection of books related to cultural studies, arts, literature, philosophy and social sciences. You can also join their workshops that the library occasionally holds and exchange thoughts and opinions regarding the subject being discussed. The existence of this library is to allow the public to meet like-minded people where they are allowed to exchange intellectual books to assure that discourses and knowledge are exchanged and disseminated. So get into your comfy outfit and make yourself feel at home!
2. State Library Victoria – Australia
If you’ve been to Melbourne countless times but haven’t visited the State Library Victoria, you are really missing out! Being one of the first free public libraries, it offers the history of Victorian culture and literature over the past 150 years by providing over two million books, pictures, newspapers, maps and manuscripts, and more! Besides the cuddly koala, now you can also talk about Victorian culture because nothing is cooler than coming back home as an intellectual sophisticated individual. The library offers different galleries, free tours and exhibitions too, making it the best spot for you to divert your concentration from the city. If you’re not a curious browser, how about admiring its architecture instead? With its spellbinding heritage interiors, this 19th century building is an icon!
3. Stuttgart City Library – Germany
Visiting the library while on vacation can be a turn off, but you might need to change your mind if you’re ever in Germany. Built in the shape of a cube, this nine-storey building has a remarkable architecture where books are arranged in a block-shaped prison. With its interiors bedecked in white, this library deserves a medal for its urbanity! No wonder it was crowned as the German ‘Library of the Year’ in 2013. Come here in your striking outfit as you’ll unmistakably stand out when being inside this library. Not only will you gain knowledge, but also a to-die-for pictures!
4. Rampur Raza Library – India
It is true that Taj Mahal is one of the beauties in the world, but India has more to offer than just beautiful monuments. Even if it’s not really where Aladdin is based, strolling around this ancient historical building that is home to Rampur Raza Library is enough to make you feel like Princess Jasmine! Surrounded by a well-maintained park, this library has one of the bygone era’s richest collections of rare and valuable manuscripts. Not only it has a sculpture gallery representing a number of 18th century figures of classical feminine Greek icons that were imported from Italy over a century ago, this library also owns one of the world’s biggest collections of Indo-Islamic literature. Coming here would definitely give you a phenomenal experience!
5. National Art Library – United Kingdom
Libraries are good for enhancing the brain and just like Hermione, when in doubt, go to the library! Britain does not play around when it comes to building libraries and the National Art Library attests to this notion because it is indeed one of the most stunning libraries you have ever seen. Housed within a historic building that has classic reading rooms that put the Beauty and Beast’s library to shame, National Art Library has three large public rooms that contain books and periodicals on history, theory and criticism of art and architecture, with main emphasis on fine and decorative arts! Although borrowing is forbidden, you are still allowed to satisfy your inner art geek by reading perusing the equally legendary tomes made available in this fine space.
6. Takeo City Library – Japan
When it comes to art of decluttering and organising, leave it to the Japanese. Just ask Marie Kondo for confirmation! Takeo City library is so pleasing to the eyes, it needs to be on every bookworm’s bucket list. You may need to spend the whole day here filling your brain with knowledge as this library has a Starbucks store inside the building. With soft music playing in the background, the view of lush nature to rest your eyes while reading and a cup of invigorating coffee in hand, this library is adored by locals and travellers alike. Bringing your children here would be a great idea since they have a separate building for children’s library with nursing rooms and a food court provided on the second floor. If that’s not enough, they also have Tsutaya Bookstore, one of the well-known bookstores in Japan!
7. Biblioteca Casanatense – Italy
Have you ever dreamed of living in the 18th century where you can wear a classic sack-back gown while reading peacefully in a vintage-looking library? Well, we can’t guarantee you about wearing a sack-back gown, but we can assure you that entering this library is like entering a world of memories and past! With beautifully carved wood, painted ceilings and rolling ladders, this place is a fiesta for not only book lovers but also art and architecture enthusiasts. There’s also a hall that is open for free to the public known as the ‘Ancient Hall’, where they display a huge selection of books in the showcases. If you are given an opportunity to visit only one library in Italy, this should be on your list!