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10 Most Beautiful Libraries Around Europe

10 Most Beautiful Libraries Around Europe

Reading and relaxing in a cosy and well-equipped library is one of the best things life offers. In these 10 beautiful European libraries, the experience will be extra marvellous.

1. Trinity College Library: Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College, Dublin

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    With its dark wood paneling and high arched ceiling, this stunning scholarly library is also known to be the largest in Ireland. It is also known as a “copyright library,” which gives it rights to acquire material published in the country without any cost. This library is also home to the Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated manuscript containing the four gospels in Latin believed to have been created in 800 AD.

    2. Bibliotheue Nationale de France: Paris, France

    Bibliothèque_nationale_de_France,_site_Richelieu_(salle_ovale)

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      The National Library of France has expanded its collection within the last few decades, since it was established in 1461. The older building that was completed in 1868 on the Rue de Richelieu is still in use and not to be missed. Once the largest library in the world, this title remains no longer. Nonetheless, it is still impressive with collections like 5,000 Greek manuscripts and an impressive staff of 2,700.

      3. Clementinum National Library: Prague, Czech Republic

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        Named after Saint Clement, the grounds that holds this library has gone through many guises, beginning as a chapel and becoming a Jesuit college. The National Library was founded in 1781 and is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture, especially the Baroque library hall, known for its intreciate ceiling work by Jan Hiebl. It’s spacious courtyards and ivy-covered walls are perfect places to get lost in a book for an hour or two.

        4. Wiblingen Monastery: Ulm-Wiblingen, Germany

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          The library in this former Benedictine abbey is one of the main reasons to see this monastery. Constructed in the whimsical Rococo fashion, it’s interior is adorned with various statues, red and green columns and intricate ceiling fresco that represent the architect’s vision of this library being a place to treasure the gifts of wisdom and science. Located on the north wing of the property, the library is part of a stunning example of Baroque architecture that is on display throughout the monastery.

          5. Admont Abbey Library: Admont, Austria

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            Known for its breathtaking Baroque design, this abbey is the oldest monastic library in the world. Set at the base of the Gesause National Park, with snow-capped mountains as a beautiful backdrop and the Enns river in the foreground, this library is set in a surreal landscape. The interior is just as stunning as its exterior, where dreamy murals exist in high-celling rooms.

            6. Bristol Central Library: Bristol, England

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              A blend of Tutor Revival and Modern Movement, makes this library unique and aesthetically appealing for all who visit. The interior is mostly Neoclassical, with generous use of the round-arched vaulting on the ceilings. Interestingly enough, it was built on a slope, causing it to have three stories in the front of the building, but five stories in the back.

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              7. The Library of El Escorial: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain

              800px-EscorialBiblioteca

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                Started by King Phillip II, this royal library is situated on the beautiful grounds of El Escorial, the past residences for all of Spain’s kings. The dark wooden shelves and the intricate frescoes painted on the ceiling make this library fit for any king. It is now a World Herritage Site, but  it still has some of the original books.

                8. Mafra Palace Library: Mafra, Portugal

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                  Located within the Mafra Palace, this library houses rare books and is only open by appointment. One of its memorable features is at your feet, with the magnificant titled floor made out of grey, rose and white marble. The beautiful white Rococo architecture makes it a highly-cherished national landmark.

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                  9. Sainte-Genevieve Library: Paris, France

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                    Situated in one of the oldest abbeys in Paris, this library is a stunning masterpiece with its iron-wrought ceilings and sea of green lamps. The stunning design was the inspiration for Boston’s Public Library centuries later.

                    10. The Codrington Library: Oxford, London

                    Great_Library

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                      An academic library of All Souls College, its dark green shelves and marble statues make for a perfect place for scholars to study. Its modern collection comprises of 185,000 books, a third which were published before the 1800’s.

                      Featured photo credit: Flicker via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on October 20, 2020

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

                      More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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