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Book Lovers Alert: 8 Of The Most Spectacular Libraries In The World

Book Lovers Alert: 8 Of The Most Spectacular Libraries In The World

Reading is probably one of my favorite things to do, but as a graduate student I don’t have a lot of extra money for going to local bookstores and filling up a shopping cart. Because of this, I spend a lot of time at libraries– both local branches and the one at my school. And though they’re great resources for all kinds of books (and audiobooks), they’re not exactly awe-inspiring.

If you find yourself in the same boat, let’s start planning a trip to some of these amazing libraries around the world, with at least one in almost every continent.

1. National Library of China, Beijing

national-library-china
    Adam Rifkin

    This library has more than 31 million items including books, Chinese literature, and historical documents. This gorgeous library is the largest in Asia and one of the biggest libraries in the entire world. We could spend a few days exploring it and still not know everything it has to offer.

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    2. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Connecticut

    4286475665_e5aa160764_o
      Lauren Manning

      Although this manuscript library is closed for some extensive renovations right now, we can visit it after it reopens in September 2016 to find out what they’ve changed and improved. Its marble exterior protects the valuable materials from direct sunlight while the glass enclosure that holds the books provides climate control to protect them from visitors.

      3. Stuttgart City Library, Germany

      germany
        Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart

        Europe’s addition to our list is a huge nine-story library. The first four floors are your standard building shape, but the upper five floors form a pyramid with a glass ceiling. The inside is just as beautifully designed and is ready for us to visit- and those little blue couches look like the perfect place to relax with a good book.

        4. Rand Club Reading Room, Johannesburg

        south-africa
          Andrew Moore

          Although this particular library is members only, it has more than 10,000 books, magazines, newspapers, and “irreplaceable treasures.” Maybe we can sneak in and take a look at their beautiful books. Who’s with me?

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          5. Adelaide City Library, Australia

          australia
            Jon Westra

            This library is home to some absolutely stunning architecture, in addition to all of the books. The ceiling has a glass dome in the middle of it to add some natural light and let us enjoy a little bit of nature without actually having to go outside.

            6. The Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Brazil

            brazil
              Mathieu Bertrand Struck

              This South American library was completed in 1887 and apparently holds more Portuguese works than anywhere else outside of Portugal. It’s a beautiful building with some rare works, an amazing chandelier and an iron skylight. It has a wealth of information to offer us on top of the beautiful architecture.

              7. National Art Library, London

              389048674_a17e43ba86_o
                lizsmith

                If you also love art, you can try out the National Art Library in Kensington. It has reference materials about all kinds of art, from painting, to textiles, to woodwork and sculptures. It does have books too, but some of those books are works of art themselves and aren’t kept for reading.

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                8. Trinity College, Dublin

                ireland
                  Irish Welcome Tours

                  Trinity College’s library is the largest research library in Ireland AND it’s the legal deposit library for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. This means that it gets a copy of every book that’s published in those countries. That results in the library acquiring about 100,000 new works every year. I think that could keep us busy for a little while.

                  Although there are probably hundreds more beautiful libraries in a bunch more countries, this list will give you a good starting point to plan your trip. Once you’ve hit all of these libraries, you can definitely say that you’re a well-read person who’s been to (almost) every continent.

                  Once they build a library in Antarctica, I’ll update this list so we can make it there too.

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                  Featured photo credit: Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart via flic.kr

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                  Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                  How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                  How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                  We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                  We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                  So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                  Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                  What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                  Boundaries are limits

                  —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                  Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                  Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                  Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                  Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                  How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                  Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                  1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                  Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                  You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                  To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                  You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                  • When do you feel disrespected?
                  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                  • When do you want to be alone?
                  • How much space do you need?

                  You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                  2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                  Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                  Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                  3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                  Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                  That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                  Sample language:

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                  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                  Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                  4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                  Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                  Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                  Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                  We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                  It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                  It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                  Final Thoughts

                  Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                  Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                  Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                  The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                  Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                  Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                  They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                  Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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