If you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly a literary addict.
If you are, you’ll want to treat yourself to these incredible libraries across the world.
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
This New York Public Library branch is located on Fifth Avenue and is one of the most elegant libraries in the United States with its marble façade and famed lion statues at the entrance. It is home to more than 2.5 million volumes and is a major part of New York’s literary scene.
Central Library of Vancouver
Designed to mimic the Roman Coliseum, this nine-story library is home to 9.5 million books, e-books, newspapers, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and more. You’ll also find a huge array of cafés, shops, and a rooftop garden that makes for a glorious outdoor reading space.
One of the most famous libraries in the world, Oxford’s library has centuries’ worth of antique charm to its credit, having been in use since the 1300s. The site is home to 12 million different volumes and contains such literary rarities as a First Folio of Shakespeare, a Gutenberg Bible, and an original edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
Bibliotheque Interuniversitaire de la Sorbonne
One of the most famous universities in the world, the Sorbonne, is now part of the University of Paris, though the original dates back to the 13th century. Home to three million volumes, it is one of the best resources in the world on French literature and is a bastion of geographic, historic, and philosophic resources. Of particular note is the Saint-Jacques Reading Room, which features deep rich wooden walls paired with minty green and an elegant cream-colored ceiling.
Trinity College Old Library
Dublin is one of the great literary cities in the world, with its streets suffused with reminders of its roster of incredible Irish authors wherever you turn. Construction on the library first began in 1712, though Trinity College itself dates back to 1311 and has seen the likes of Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett pass through its doors. The Old Library at Trinity College has a lovely dark wooden aesthetic and more than seven million volumes available, including ancient texts such as the Book of Kells, Book of Howth, and Book of Durrow.
Library of El Escorial
Located in San Lorenzo de El Escorial in Spain, this library has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most essential sites for studies of the Spanish Renaissance is home to a litany of literary volumes and beautiful frescoes dating back to its time as a monastery.
Rampur Raza Library
This library in Rampur, India, is one of the newer ones on our list, having originally been built as a mansion in 1904 before being converted into a library in the 1950s. However, it is also home to some of the oldest texts on this list, especially when it comes to its incredible Indian and Asian collections, which include Islamic calligraphy and an original manuscript for a first translation of the Koran.