Libraries

The Most Playful Libraries in the World

We could write volumes about our love for libraries — and, well, we kind of have. During our Internet travels, we’ve stumbled across some pretty amazing places for book lovers. After spotting an especially playful library on Colossal, we were inspired to seek out other lighthearted libraries that emphasize imagination, fun, and bookish wonder. The most well-read, creative people know that adventure and play can be a wonderful tonic for the soul. Click through for more playful libraries for literature lovers of all… Read More

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10 Incredible Repurposed Train Stations

The heyday of railway travel may have passed, but the nostalgic allure of architecturally striking infrastructure has ensured that it’s not the end of the line for many historic station buildings. We recently learned that Union Station in Denver, which opened to passengers in the late 19th century, will be transformed into a trendy hotel, with adjoining restaurants and a beer hall, by 2014. Click through to see how other train stations have been repurposed into thriving cultural centers, libraries, and… Read More

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Spectacular Photos of Ideal, Imaginary Libraries Around the World

We could spend an entire day getting lost in one of JF Rauzier’s libraries, which we spotted on Trendland. The French photographer composes grandiose, imaginary, international libraries from various photos. Each one aims to be the ideal bibliotheca. Books are stacked and stuffed into every nook and cranny of Rauzier’s stunning, surreal libraries — and we wouldn’t want it any other way. You can see more of Rauzier’s incredible photos in our gallery, but we highly recommend you also explore the artist’s website. There, you can zoom in on each photo and gasp like we did when you realize there are tiny people hidden amongst the stacks. … Read More

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15 Amazing Book-Filled Bars Where We’d Like to Drink

You know what’s better than a night out? A night out with a book. Or, in the case of many of these fine establishments, a whole wall of books. After all, when else will you feel as inspired to pull down a favorite tome and do a dramatic reading than when you’re on your second cocktail? We’ve collected a handful of amazing bars stocked with more than just… Read More

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Readers’ Choice: 10 More of the Coolest Librarians Alive

Earlier this week, we posted about a few of the coolest librarians we’d ever heard of, and asked you to come back to us with your own suggestions. And come back you did, with suggestions of awesome librarians we missed from San Francisco to South Africa. We’ve collated a few of your suggestions, bringing our awesome librarian list up to a round 20. We know that still doesn’t cover it, but hey — that’s not a fact we’re likely to complain about. … Read More

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10 of the Coolest Librarians Alive

Face it: most librarians are probably cooler than you. After all, their job is to wrangle books, attract readers, and then get the two together — one of our own favorite activities. Though, for many years, the librarian stereotype was a severe old lady who couldn’t stand excessive noise, that image has changed. Now, many librarians are punk-rock agents of social change, complete with tattoos, tech savvy, and new ideas to get books to the people. Click through to meet just a few of the very coolest librarians… Read More

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11 of the Most Beautiful Museum Libraries in the World

We’ve shown you many beautiful libraries from around the world, and we’ve shown you some of the most fantastic museums, as well — so what about gorgeous museum libraries? Well, because many museum libraries are strictly utilitarian, meant for easy browsing and not necessarily planned to be easy on the eyes. That said, some standouts manage to be both, and since we’re always on the lookout for lovely architecture, preferably lovely architecture that incorporates books, we thought we’d round a few of them up for you here. After the jump, check out 11 of the most beautiful museum libraries from around the world, and as ever, let us know if we missed your favorite in the comments. … Read More

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Is This the Most Amazing Library in the World?

Last week, North Carolina State University opened the doors on its brand new library, a technological marvel that’s bigger than a football field. Designed by Snøhetta, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library is staffed by a bionic librarian, bookBot, who can find any of its 1.5 million books for you. Innovative, yes — but does it rank as one of the most beautiful college libraries in the world? Or even one of the ones you’d most want to work in? … Read More

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The 25 Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the World

[Editor's note: In celebration of the holidays, we're counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #3, was originally published April 16.] We’re suckers for beautiful libraries here at Flavorpill, as you might have noticed from our lists of beautiful college libraries and beautiful private libraries from all over the world. But public libraries are probably even more important to the culture at large than either of these — they’re places where anyone can enter and partake of knowledge they offer, where anyone can engage with history, literature and culture. And while we know it’s the books that are important, everyone likes to read in a beautiful space, so we decided to take a look at the most beautiful public libraries in the world. We excluded some very beautiful libraries that may be open to the public as museums or tourist attractions but with limited function as actual libraries, like the Vatican library (which to use, you must prove your qualifications and research needs) and the library of Dutch Parliament, but we think there are enough public libraries proper to make up for their loss. Click through to see our choices for the twenty five most beautiful public libraries in the world, and let us know if we’ve missed your favorite in the comments. … Read More

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The 25 Most Beautiful College Libraries in the World

[Editor's note: In celebration of the holidays, we're counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #4, was originally published December 13, 2011.] The college library, whether ornate or modern, digital or dusty, is in many ways the epicenter of the college experience — at least for some students. It is at once a shining emblem of vast, acquirable knowledge, a place for deep discussions and meetings of the mind, and of course, a big building full of books, which, as far as we’re concerned, is exciting enough. Colleges and universities are understandably quite proud of their libraries, which can be a selling point for prospective students and donating alumni alike, and they often become the most well-designed and beautifully adorned buildings on campus. To that end, and perhaps to inspire your studies a bit, we’ve collected a few of the most beautiful college and university libraries in the world, from Portugal to France to Boston. Did your alma mater’s library make the list? Or did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments. … Read More

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