Any avid reader will tell you that it is a dream of theirs to have a private library at home. To be able to store and access our favorite books and novels and read in solitude is one of the many ways book lovers chill out and destress.
In a time where ebooks are fast becoming the norm and paper books are getting phased out, one might wonder about the relevance of libraries. It would be such a loss to the public if we have these beautiful reading sanctuaries taken from us. Luckily though, many are still standing in grandeur in city capitals and universities. And boy, are they breathtakingly gorgeous!
I have gathered 28 of the most elegant libraries in the world, and I’m sure that the bookworm inside you will want to visit each of them!
Study Hall, National Library of China
This is the National Library of China, which sits at the heart of Haidan, Beijing’s educational district. You can easily get lost in the grand architecture that is filled with bookshelves and the studious.
Klemetinum Library, Prague, Czech Republic
The Clementinum (spelled Klemetinum in Czech) Library gives off a monastic feeling with its wooden floor and two-storey high ceiling. It’s a library with great historical significance, located in Prague.
Morgan Library, New York City, US
Started back in 1906 as a private library in the house of J. P. Morgan, this library now contains a lot of historical manuscripts, early printed books and prints, and old master drawings. It also includes a museum.
Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm Zentrum, Humbolt University
This hall of knowledge in Berlin, Germany captures both retro and modernistic approaches in architecture. The book shelves sit quietly on the sidelines while the study hall lies in the open, in a terraced arrangement.
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University
This library acts as a literary archive of the Yale University Library and and is home to rare books and manuscripts.
Stuttgart City Library, Germany
This is a 9-storey building that was completed in 2011. This library has 4 storeys in a four-sided design, and 5 upper storeys that forms the shape of a pyramid. The structure has a glass ceiling.
New York Public Library, US
The ever popular New York library is considered to be the second biggest public library in the United states. Aside from a diverse set of books and materials, it also features beautiful paintings on its ceilings.
National Art Library, UK
A public reference library for the fine and decorative arts, it serves as a big reference center with over 70,000 entries from all over the world and offers a space that is both calming and serene for book and art lovers.
Chetham’s Library, UK
Considered to be the oldest free public library in the UK, Chetham’s Library is home to more than 100,000 volumes of old printed books, 60% of which were published before 1851.
George Peabody Library, Baltimore, US
Formerly known as the Library of the Peabody Institute, the George Peabod Library is probably one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Admont Abbey Library, Austria
This looks more like a chapel than it does a library. Not only is the flooring and ceiling beautifully decorated, when you are inside this place it’s as though you’ve taken a trip back in time.
Odenplan Library, Stockholm, Sweden
Know for it’s enormous central hall, the Stockholm Public Library in Sweden is used both as a library as well as the municipal library system of Stockholm.
The Leeds Library, UK
The Leeds Library is a two-storey building that was made in 1768 and is the oldest subscription library in UK.
St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, Vermont, US
The St. Johnsbury Anthenaeum in Vermont not only serves as a public library holds an art gallery. This building looks beautiful from the inside out with a wooden interior that emanates that classic feel.
Nova Scotia Legislative Library, Canada
The Nova Scotia Library serves to bring the information needs of the Legislative assembly. It was originally the home of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia as well, thus explaining the paintings of Commanders on the walls and shelves.
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
This is the very definition of grand and epic, all in one place. Ain’t that a sight to behold?
Rand Club Reading Room, Johannesburg, South Africa
The Rand club’s dedicated library holds around 10,000 irreplaceable “treasures” with comfortable chairs for reading. Unfortunately it has member-restricted access.
Lincoln’s Inn Library, London, UK
This library is located in Lincoln’s Inn, London and contains a large collection of rare books. You can only stay and read here as borrowing is prohibited. Some sections are dedicated to rare books and manuscripts.
Strahov Monastery Library, Prague, Czech Republic
A beautiful library that was converted from a monastery. It gives off a vibe of age-old wisdom with its beautiful wooden shelves, coupled with the beautiful ceiling art.
Picton Reading Room & Hornby Library, England
Located in Liverpool England, the Picton Reading room and Hornby Library holds a vast collection of books.
Lappia Hall Library, Rovaniemi, Ireland
Here’s another view of the Picton Reading Room & Library. You can barely tell that they are the same facility.
British Museum Library, UK
This beautiful library used to be the “main reading room” of the British Library and was recently restored and reopened back in 2000.
Adelaide City Library, Australia
The city library of Adelaide is known as a “place of possibility” and offers a dedicated section for “learning, challenging and conventional thinking”. You’ll be amazed with the glass ceiling that covers the middle of the roof.
Concord Public Library, US
Described as an “invaluable” resource, the Concord public library looks breath-taking from the inside. The beatuiful windows let light into the building.
Poetry Foundation Library, Chicago, US
A library dedicated exclusively to poetry, it aims to present the best poetry in English or in translation.
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia
The first private university in Malaysia has a highly innovative, enviable, modern library. It is a place of academic research, professional services, networking, and many more.
Mitchell Library, Glasgow, Scotland
One of Europe’s largest public libraries, the Mitchell library in Scotland is the centre of the public library system in Glasgow.
State Capitol Library, Iowa, US
Located in the capitol building of Iowa State, this library is often visited by government employees and the legal community for its collection of legal materials. It looks like a painting!
There are thousands of beautiful libraries out there waiting to be featured, so if your favorite library is not on the list, be sure to comment it below