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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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                                                                                              wikimedia.org

                                                                                              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 September 16, 2019

                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                  More About Procrastination

                                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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