Travel Tales

An Award Winning & Sustainable Library

In focus for today’s #TravelTuesday is De Boekenberg

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Being a bibliophile, I’m always on the lookout for a local bookstore or library when visiting a new place. The first trip to Netherlands didn’t spare me much time to explore more than the ‘just round the corner’ bookstore. So, when I randomly came across an article on The Book Mountain while researching on a story I was then writing, it was immediately added to my ‘places to visit’ when next visiting Netherlands. Why this library though? Apart from the gorgeous grandeur and eye-candy it exudes from the outside, its the inside of this structure which is definitely a one-of-a-kind architectural marvel (designed by Winy Maas and MVRDV) Through the glass facade, the books are visible from outside, and when looking towards the library from the old market square the library looks like a mountain of books, hence the name. This public library has 5 floors (connected by a lift and through stairs) of bookshelves. All the stairs, pathways and indoor terraces within the library are stacked upon another to spiral up to form a pyramid. The inside of this pyramid is a marvel too, because it houses offices, meeting rooms, study rooms and even a theatre! The numerous little see-through windows provide a great view of the city. But these aren’t the (only) attributes which made me want to visit The Book Mountain. I wanted to go here because the entire building is very eco-friendly and sustainability overall is high on the agenda in the daily operations of the library, as well as in its design. For instance, the bookshelves are all made out of recycled flowerpots and the architects worked with a lot of wooden details as a homage to the city’s agricultural past.The Library also has a little cafe, which serves great coffee! So, my reading needs for the day were satiated at a place which had all my favourite things under one roof: books, food and nature. I sat at one of the windows, sipping hot chocolate, book in hand (or sometimes on the table) reading away and gazing at the city, thinking how blessed I was in that moment to be in such a spectacular place. If in Netherlands, this award winning library has to be on your visiting list, especially if you’re a bibliophile like me. 😁🤩😍😎

Pro tip : The library is a 45 minute train + bus (or you can walk too) ride away from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Once you get off at Spijkenisse centrum, you could walk to the library or take the bus number 85 or bus number 87 (a free service by the way. Yes, there is no ticket fare for the bus ride) which will drop you right opposite the library.

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