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Best Libraries That Give Your Unforgettable Reading Experiences

Best Libraries That Give Your Unforgettable Reading Experiences

Libraries collect the vast stores of human knowledge and imagination.

1. Admont Abbey Library, Austria

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    Although this astonishingly beautiful library looks as though it would exist only in a Disney movie rather than real life, the Admont Abbey Library was built in 1776 and remains the largest monistic library in the world. Adamant Abbey holds 700,000 books which are all accompanied by wonderful pastel paintings and wall carvings.

    2. Strahov Monastery Library, Czech Republic

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      Containing over 200,000 books, this library hosts some of the most important titles printed in Central Europe and the decor is incredible. Not only is this library visually appealing, it alsohas  geek appeal as it has two secret passageways which can be opened by faux books.

      3. Geisel Library, USA

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        libraries.ucsd.edu

        Named after Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel – although you may know him better as Dr. Seuss – this library at the University of San Diego honors the late couple who often donated to UCSD.

        4. Trinity College Library, Ireland

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          Not only is Trinity College Library the largest library in the whole of Ireland, it also houses the Book Of Kells which is believed to have been written as early as 800 AD by celtic monks.

          5. Boston Public Library, USA

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            Established in 1848, Boston Public Library was the first municipal library in the entire U.S.! Containing over 8.9 million books, the library was originally part of a small Massachusetts school house until architect Charles Follen McKim completed the current building – named ‘Palace For The People’ – situated in Copley Square in 1895.

            6. Raza Library, India

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              Once part of a palace, the Raza Library was completed in 1904 but houses a collection the royal family began collecting as far back as 1774. There are now 17,000 rare or completely unique manuscripts and over 200 hand-written letters.

              7. George Peabody Library, USA

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                The first American to be interred in Westminster Abbey, George Peabody is known as somewhat of a success story. Although he was born into a humble life, George worked his way up to become a very wealthy man who funded many museums and libraries in both the UK and USA in the early 1800s. George constructed this library in Baltimore, USA to thank the local people for their “kindness and hospitality’.

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                8. Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, USA

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                  Encapsulated within a huge glass dome, Mansueto Library is the main studying hall of the University of Chicago. So students can receive any books or documents they require quickly, Mansueto actually has a robotic arm system underground that catalogues and finds certain books.

                  9. Villanueva Public Library, Columbia

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                      archdaily.com

                      Villanueva Library was constructed using only locally sourced materials and people. The design, which was created by four college students near to the construction, is focused around natural ventilation so visitors remain cool and comfortable.

                      10. The Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination, USA

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                        This extremely interesting space holds over 20,000 volumes belonging to celebrated inventor Jay Walker. Inspired by the designs of M.C. Escher, Walker’s private library is meant to focus entirely on the never-ending phenomenon of the human imagination.

                        11. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, USA

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                          wikimedia.org

                          One of the largest libraries in the world, Beinecke Yale Library is exclusively reserved for, as I’m sure you can imagine, rare books and manuscripts. There are currently over 500,000 books in its possession and several million manuscripts, including a Gutenberg Bible.

                          12. Karl Lagerfeld’s Private Library, Paris

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                            One of the largest private libraries in existence, Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld owns over 60,000 books which he keeps in his Parisian apartment.

                            13. Bristol Central Library, England

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                              Completed in 1906, Bristol Central Library combines Tudor Revival and Modern Movement styles to create a fascinating combination of architecture. It was also built on a slope, which is why the front half of the building has three stories while the end half has five.

                              14. James B. Hunt Jr Library, USA

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                                businessinsider.com

                                Although this was opened extremely recently in 2013, this North Carolina State Library is host to a robotic arm system that can retrieve any of 20,000 volumes for students as well as two 3D printers.

                                15. Bibliotheque Nationale De France, France

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                                  Despite many parts of The National Library of France having been built back in 1886, the entire structure is still in use.

                                  16. The Library of El Escorial, Spain

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                                    Perhaps the most interesting element of this library is the fact it is situated in the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the residence of all of Spain’s past kings. Although it is now a world heritage site, King Phillip II began the library and collected many of the books that are still held there.

                                    17. Wiblingen Monastery Library, Germany

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                                      Completed in 1744, this beautiful Baroque building is inscribed with the wonderful phrase ‘In quo omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae,’ meaning ‘In which are stored all treasures of knowledge and science.’

                                      18. The Library of the San Francisco Monastery, Peru

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                                        Located in Lima, the San Francisco Monastery was built in 1672 making it one of the oldest functioning libraries in the west.

                                        19. University of Otago Central Library, New Zealand

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                                          The University of Otago is home to several libraries, however their Central Library is by far the most impressive. The library has over 500,000 books, 9000 of which where printed before 1801, and 2000 study spaces for students.

                                          20. Nakanoshima Library, Japan

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                                              True, this building doesn’t look traditionally Japanese but this Library constructed in 1904 actually fits in rather well with the rest of Osaka.

                                              21. Beitou Library, Taiwan

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                                                  Eco-friendly and modern, this library recycles rainwater by letting it run down its slanted roof to be used in the restrooms!

                                                  22. Victorian State Library, Australia

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                                                    Victorian State Library opened in 1856, although the famous domed room (pictures above) didn’t open until 1913. This absolutely huge library is home to over 2 million books including diaries from the famous James Cook.

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                                                    23. The Tianyi Pavilion Library, China

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                                                        Built in 1560, Tianyi Pavilion Library is the oldest private library in Asia, and third oldest on the entire Earth. The collection, which was started by a retired imperial minister, includes over 300,000 ancient books that cannot be found anywhere else.

                                                        24. Fisher Fine Arts Library, USA

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                                                          Built in the late 1800s, this University of Pennsylvania library was designed by Philadelphia’s Frank Furness, making it a historic landmark.

                                                          25. Indianapolis Public Library, USA

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                                                              Originally constructed in 1917, this Indiana library has since been extended to combine older and extremely modern architecture in a harmonious and impressive display.

                                                              26. Palafoxiana Library, Mexico

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                                                                The first publiclibrary in Mexico, built in 1646, this Puebla library is now one of the many buildings on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

                                                                27. University of Michigan Law Library, USA

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                                                                  Renowned for its Gothic architecture, the Law Library is available to all students and is located at the centre of the Michigan campus.

                                                                  28. Library of Parliament, Canada

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                                                                      Built in 1876, the Library of Parliament was originally part of the parliamentary headquarters. The building was under construction for ten years before the builders admitted they didn’t know how to create a domed roof, and so this library became the first structure in North America to have a wrought iron roof.

                                                                      29. National Library, Costa Rica

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                                                                          Featuring an inverted arch above glass walls, this library may now have been built to withstand the numerous earthquakes that hit Costa Rica. So make sure to have a look while you can!

                                                                          30. Austrian National Library, Austria

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                                                                            Built in 1723, Austria’s largest library is located in the Hofburg Palace, Vienna and is host to an incredible 7.4 million books.

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                                                                            31. Central Library of Vancouver, Canada

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                                                                              If you were to look closely at this building, which ancient constructions does it remind you of? If you guessed the Roman Colosseum you’re correct! In fact, this library was based on the ancient structure and covers an entire city block to do so. Not only does it include 1.3 million volumes, Vancouver’s central library also houses retailers, offices and restaurants.

                                                                              32. Klarchek Information Commons, USA

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                                                                                On the shores of Lake Michigan, the stunning building at Loyola University in Chicago offers even more impressive views.

                                                                                33. José Vasconcelos Library, Mexico

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                                                                                  Aptly referred to as the ‘Megalibrary’ by the Mexican press, this huge structure covers 409,000 square feet and houses over 500,000 books all hanging from glass shelves.

                                                                                  34. Delft University of Technology Library, Netherlands

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                                                                                      Delft University’s Technology Library is in a field of its own when it comes to modern architecture. With the library located under what appears to be a hill, the roof is a skylight that transforms into cone.

                                                                                      35. Abbey Library of St. Gallen, Switzerland

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                                                                                        wikipedia.org

                                                                                        As if it wasn’t enough that this library is the oldest in Switzerland, it’s one of the oldest monastic libraries in the world.

                                                                                        36. The Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Brazil

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                                                                                          Located in Rio de Janeiro, The Real Gabinete Português de Leitura was built in 1887 and holds more works in Portuguese than anywhere else outside of Portugal.

                                                                                          37. The National Library, Brazil

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                                                                                            Another of Brazil’s incredible libraries, The National Library is the largest library in Latin America and the seventh largest on the planet.

                                                                                            38. Cornell Univeristy Uris Library, USA

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                                                                                              As Cornell University is located on a rather large hill, Uris sits at the top of the ‘slope’ with the proud title of being Cornell’s oldest library. You may also recognise the room above as the ‘Harry Potter’ library.

                                                                                              39. Stephen A. Schwarzman Library, USA

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                                                                                                Otherwise known as The New York Public Library, this National Historical Landmark was originally built in 1911 and houses 75 miles of shelving. As it continued to grow, an underground area was built that extends under Bryant Park.

                                                                                                40. Handelingenkamer, Netherlands

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                                                                                                  This library holds every record of Dutch parliamentary discussions and was very cleverly built to minimize the need for candles in a time before electricity.

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                                                                                                  Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                                                                                                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                                                                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                                                                  Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                                                                                  You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                                                                                  Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                                                                                  1. Work on the small tasks.

                                                                                                  When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                                                                                  Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                                                                                  2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                                                                                  Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                                                                                  Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                                                                                  3. Upgrade yourself

                                                                                                  Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                                                                                  The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                                                                                  4. Talk to a friend.

                                                                                                  Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                                                                                  Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                                                                                  5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                                                                                  If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                                                                                  Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                                                                                  Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                                                                                  6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                                                                                  If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                                                                                  Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                                                                                  Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                                                                                  7. Read a book (or blog).

                                                                                                  The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                                                                                  Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                                                                                  Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                                                                                  8. Have a quick nap.

                                                                                                  If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                                                                                  9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                                                                                  Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                                                                                  What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                                                                                  10. Find some competition.

                                                                                                  Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                                                                                  Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                                                                                  11. Go exercise.

                                                                                                  Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                                                                                  Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                                                                                  As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                                                                                  Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                                                                                  12. Take a good break.

                                                                                                  Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                                                                                  Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                                                                                  Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                                                                                  Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                                                                                  More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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