For as long as I can remember, I have always been a bookworm and reading was my way to escape from reality. Libraries hold so much knowledge in them and you can loan books from them. If you are a bibliophile that loves books and libraries as much as I do, this list will intrigue you. Most laypeople will tell you that libraries are boring, but this is not the case of the ones on this list.
Number 1- Duke Humfrey’s Library at Oxford
If you are a massive Harry Potter fan like me, you should definitely look this one up. If it feels familiar, it’s because part of the movie was shot there, and part of this library was closed off for the filming of this iconic movie franchise. Unlike the Hogwarts Library in the movies, you don’t need an invisibility cloak to visit this library, and, you won’t hear any ominous threat while entering the building but you will feel like you are in the movie there. The reading room of this branch of the library is one of the oldest in Europe, and it is home to some pretty unique and rare books. Duke Humfrey’s library still has its original design and interior decoration to make you feel the weight of history that not only took place there but that you are now also part of it.
Number 2- Mechanical Libraries
Nothing can rival the charm, odor, and atmosphere of a library. Still, mechanical libraries are unlike any other because they are open 24/7 and are found in several countries across the world. You don’t have to wait until morning to borrow the next book in the series you are reading. This is the perfect stop for a night owl and it is really interesting to use. Book vending machines have been around since the 1930’s but they are only gaining traction right now. With the advent of the Corona-Virus, these mechanic libraries allow for a no-contact transaction. You can just select your book from the machine and pay the fee to get it in a matter of seconds. Even if you think you’ve already lost the war against the machine Overlord, you gotta admit that these libraries are pretty innovative.
Number 3- Vasconcelos Library
Situated in Mexico, the Megabiblioteca, as it is also known, is pretty out there when it comes to its style and structure. This library makes you feel like you are in the Matrix with its labyrinthine pathways and stairs. This is quite literally a bibliophile haven. Alberto Kalach designed it after he won the International Architecture Competition. Kalach himself states that his design was inspired by the Matrix’s dream-like sequences and wanted to pay homage to this postmodern gem. The books are laid on crystal clear shelves with massive industrial steel fittings to give this industrial allure to the inside of the library and gives the illusion that the books are hanging from the ceiling.
Number 4- Iwaki Museum of Picture Books for Children
Located in Japan, this library turned museum is the perfect building for people who like graphic novels and kids at heart. Tadao Ando was given free reign to design this library and wanted it to contrast traditional libraries’ otherwise formal and conservative atmosphere. The Picture Book library is what any child dreams of when they think of a library; it’s filled with only picture books with their covers facing outwards. The books are the focal point of this building as they bring color and vibrancy to the place, which otherwise has a rather minimal and even bland décor.
Sound off in the comment below if you found any of these libraries interesting.