Summers are the perfect time to be outdoors and near water bodies for holidays. Nothing like a beach vacation. With just the perfect sun, clear blue cool waters to soak in, sandy beach fronts to relax in and a book to sprawl on beach beds with for a great read. Sounds perfect? Absolutely.
But what if you reach your destination and realise that you forgot to get your favourite book along with you. No need to be disheartened. There is a concept called beach libraries which is fast catching up across the world.
Beachfront libraries are an inventive addition to shorelines around the world. Hire a book and read as you relax. There are many choices that are available. For example, the beach library in Bulgaria’s Black Sea resort, Albena, opens its library every summer and by now has a collection of more than 6,000 books!
Pop-up libraries are a growing trend at beaches around the world. Books and beaches always go hand in hand. And these libraries are mostly set up right next to the beaches, to make it easier for people. Pop-up mobile carts and elaborately designed structures offer books to beach-goers to read for free.
Another famous location which is quickly catching the eye of tourists all over the world, is the famous beach front library at Istres, France. The Bibliothèque de Plage offers shade along with shelves of books in a fold-out design of steel and tarpaulins. This, of course, is one of the elaborate ones. But most others are quick, make shift arrangements. The idea is simple – provide books right where they are needed!
There’s also a mobile version in Holland, and another inaugurated last July in Tel Aviv on the Metzitzim Beach, offering books in five languages. They also provide free WiFi, so that readers can check out electronic reading material on their tablets. A few years back, IKEA set up 30 shelves on Sydney’s Bondi Beach for surfers and sunbathers.
Some of the beach libraries are more permanent. In Abu Dhabi, a public library has been opened in a beautiful glass architecture on Corniche Beach. The Department of Seine-Maritime in France has also installed 12 small libraries on its northern beaches.
Perhaps the most well-known is the extensive beach library at Albena, a resort on Bulgaria’s Black Sea. Designed by German architect Herman Kompernas, it’s built to withstand the sun, water and wind. It is equipped with a vinyl cover to protect the books in rain. It reopened this summer with more than 6,000 volumes across 15 languages. All this wonderful amenities and that too totally free to take. However, visitors are encouraged to leave their own for others to read, in case they finish.
Lets take a look at some of these beach libraries!
Bondi Beach, Sydney
Abu Dhabi –