Five Libraries That Should Be on Every Book Lover’s Bucket List
by Carolyn Lee Aug 21, 2023
Some people add countries, festivals, or activities to their bucket lists. However, we have decided to make a unique bucket list for book lovers. From Mexico to Germany, Egypt to the UK, we have five libraries every book lover should add to their list and what makes them unique.
Palafoxiana Library, Mexico
Described as the oldest library in the Americas by some, this library was established in 1646. By the 19th century, the Palafoxiana Library boasted over 41 000 volumes (books, an extensive selection of rare and antique titles and manuscripts).
George Peabody Library, USA
This library is internationally known for its stunning architecture and impressive collection of over 300,000 volumes. Dubbed the “Cathedral of Books”, the George Peabody Library was a gift to the people of Baltimore from philanthropist George Peabody. The library carries works from the Renaissance period through the 19th century.
Stuttgart City Library, Germany
Stuttgart City Library is housed inside a nine-storey building with an all-white interior, filled with books that add colour and character to the space. A crucial feature of this library is a pyramid-shaped reading room surrounded by study rooms and lit by glass above it. Other areas include administration, music library, children’s library, and café.
Alexandria Library, Egypt
The original library was known as the largest and most important of its time. It is estimated to have been built around the third century BC and formed part of the Alexandrian Museum. The library was destroyed in the third century AD, leading to a significant loss of essential scrolls. In 2002, a new library was designed to pay homage to what was once known as the “Universal Library.” It is designed like a sundial and tilts towards the Mediterranean Sea.
The Bodleian Library, UK
The Bodleian Library or the “Bod”, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It was opened in 1602 and incorporated an earlier library built by Oxford University in the 15th century. It boasts over 13 million volumes (books, papers, and other materials). The Bod is used by students and scholars from across the globe.
- National Library of South Africa.
- Sainte-Geneviève Library, France.
- Central Library of Vancouver, Canada.
- Boston Public Library, USA.
- Rampur Raza Library, India.
- Austrian National Library, Austria.
- Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, Brazil.
- Raza Library, India.
- Liyuan Library, China.
- Nakanoshima Library, Japan.
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Sources: World Monuments Fund, Peabody, and University of Oxford.