Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I Want To Go To There - The Coolest Places to Read A Book

Where do you usually read? For me, it's usually in my bright red Alice in Wonderland style chair by the window or in bed at night. But always reading in the same place can become a bit...boring. According to Mark Twain, "In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” I couldn't agree more. So I started thinking about super cool places to read and here's what I found.
1) New York Public Library Reading Room: This huge room the length of two city blocks is definitely a sight for sore eyes. From its gorgeous architecture and murals, you'll feel right at home reading alongside fellow bibliophiles.

2) The Long Room, Dublin Ireland: This library contains over 200,000 ancient books and is lined with marble busts of philosophers and writers. Can you say good company?

3) University of Pittsburgh, Cathedral of Learning: Aside from its badass name, this historical landmark is something straight out of Harry Potter. Seriously. I recently had the pleasure of touring this building and literally said "I feel like I'm at Hogwarts" a dozen times.

4) Rijksmuseum Research Library, Amsterdam: Visitors can explore the impressive collection of journals and reference books, or simply admire the stunning architecture.

 5) Hearst Castle Library, California: Want to read in a castle? If you answered "hell yeah" then you're in for a treat. This fanciful Gothic study houses more than 4,000 books and showcases the Castle's most treasured collections: 150 ancient Greek vases. Did I mention that this hilltop estate has breathtaking views?

6) Livraria Cultura, Sao Paulo, Brazil: One of Brazil's largest bookstores, this place looks great for lounging and perusing. Love the massive dragon statues too!

7) Libraria Lello e Irmao, Porto, Portugal: Rumor has it that J.K. Rowling’s inspiration to write Harry Potter began here. Rowling lived in Porto for 10 years working as an English teacher and routinely visited the shop for a cup of coffee. There are indeed many similarities between Lello’s bookstore staircase and the one described in Hogwarts. The exquisite architecture alone is worth the trip.

8) Libreria El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina: I don't know which is cooler. The fact that this bookstore was an old glamorous movie theater, or that it's old theater boxes are private reading rooms. It's easy to see why a million people visit this majestic place every year.

9) Stuttgart Library, Germany: If Gattaca had a library, this is what it would look like. This cavernous white wonder is unobtrusive in design, where the books and visitors provide the color to an otherwise neutral environment.        

10) Jay Walker's Private Library, Connecticut: Stuffed with eye-grabbing historical objects, this mazelike 3,600 square foot library is extraordinary - especially the 20th-century volumes with jeweled bindings and rare anatomical sketches. I could so see the real Strange Luck shop looking something like this.

Where is your ideal reading spot? Are you inspired to visit any of the places listed here? I know I certainly am! Share your thoughts and any recommendations below.