September 28, 2012

By Raleigh-Elizabeth.

I love all the quiet rooms inside a library’s walls, but what if you were to take the walls away? Artist Massimo Bartolini did just that at the St. Peter’s Abbey library in Ghent, where locals can wander through 12 rows of books outside in the library’s urban vineyard. You can borrow a book to read outside, or you can leave a donation on the shelf and take the book home to keep. I couldn’t imagine a cooler way to while away an autumn afternoon, especially if there was a hot cocoa stand nearby!

If you’re nowhere near Ghent, there still might be a bookyard you can visit nearby. In Detroit, students have been building libraries outdoors in honor of the branches the Detroit Public Library has had to close. In Oakland, volunteers have come together to build the Victor Martinez People’s Library in an abandoned lot. And in upstate New York, Girl Scouts have helped build an outside extension of the Otswego Library.

I wonder if they have a plan to protect the books when it rains?

via Inhabitat.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sabrina September 28, 2012 at 8:02 am

Really cool, but just like your last sentence, I wonder what they do to protect the books from the elements.


2 Jane September 28, 2012 at 8:03 am
3 Sarah September 28, 2012 at 8:27 am

i love it, but – i fear for those books! rain, damp, bird poop…

i love how you can see a well-worn path along the shelf there… i wonder how many people you normally find browsing the shelves?


4 Megan M. September 28, 2012 at 8:34 am

Wow. That looks like heaven.


5 Heather Wetherington September 28, 2012 at 8:45 am

I am positive that the girl scouts have found a weather solution.


6 Janae @ Bring-Joy September 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

“I wonder if they have a plan to protect the books when it rains?” I wondered the same thing.

I find nothing more beautiful than rows & rows of books–put them outside, well, I never thought of that! Awesome.


7 Dahlia September 28, 2012 at 9:05 am

The NYC public library lends magazines outside in Bryant Park. I like that the library is being brought to the people in the park.


8 ami September 28, 2012 at 9:15 am

Ohh wow! I was taken by surprise when I read your post today. To be honest, I had never heard of such a thing . It must be so much fun. I myself love going to libraries and I can literally be there for hours. But browsing books in the beautiful lap of nature and as you pointed out with a cup of hot chocolate sounds just perfect.


9 Cathi September 28, 2012 at 9:27 am

Inclement weather is definitely the first thought that comes to mind. A close second is wondering about the logistics of getting the shelves and books in place. That seems like a lot of work, but what a stunning outcome!


10 Christy@SweetandSavoring September 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

Being exposed to the elements was the first thing I thought of! Well, that and “oooh, books!” :) Though reading outdoors is, somehow, such a rare pleasure- on the beach, in the woods, a meadow…I need to spend more time outside!


11 Lindsey C September 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

This is entirely off topic but – have you heard of Bergere de France? It’s a knitting company and they have some of the cutest knits for kids! I thought of your What to Wear series when I saw it.


12 Margaret September 28, 2012 at 10:48 am

That’s just what I was thinking! “What do they do when it’s wet or rainy?” I hope they protect them… poor books. :-(


13 Brenlin September 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I love this and wish it was closer so I could stroll the aisles. Wonder if I could help this happen here?


14 Emjay September 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

It rains a lot here in Belgium and that colors my interpretation of this work of art. I can’t help but be sad for those poor, soon to be wet books.


15 kyla ross bars london October 3, 2012 at 4:57 am

Great article. I’m experiencing a few of these issues as well..


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