November 14, 2012
10 Gorgeous bookstores & libraries around the world
by Nick Davies
I am such a sucker for articles like this one from The Coolist, which features ten bookstores and libraries around the world, from São Paulo to Stuttgart to Tokyo to New Haven.
The designs of these temples to the written word (including an actual cathedral in the Netherlands) are frankly stunning, and serve as an awesome reminder that, as The Coolist puts it, “Beyond the shrinking book store franchises and ‘new media’ libraries, there are special places around the world that celebrate the mystique of books in print.”
It’s hard to pick one favorite from these incredible buildings, partly because they’re so diverse. The Stuttgart City Library, for example, is a triumph of contemporary architecture, all sharp angles and pristine white walls, ceilings, and floors; whereas the Liyuan Library in rural China is wrapped by reclaimed branches and looks like a cozy treehouse. The Book Mountain library in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands is open and inviting, built inside a glass pyramid, and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library — enclosed by a grid of marble “windows”— is beautiful but seriously intimidating.
The ten bookstores and libraries from The Coolist article are below, and they have even more photos of all of them on the site.
Cathedral Bookstore in Maastricht, the Netherlands
Stuttgart City Library in Stuttgart, Germany
Book Mountain library in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands
Tama Art University Library in Tokyo, Japan
El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in New Haven, CT
Livraria da Vila in São Paulo, Brazil
Liyuan Library in rural China, near Beijing
A47 Mobile Library in Mexico City, Mexico
University of Aberdeen Library in Aberdeen, Scotland
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.