Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Reading al fresco!

Much to my dismay, reading is a hobby that tends to be kept behind closed doors.  Us bookish types spend our whole lives shut up in rooms without windows.  We have deathly pale skin and failing eyesight and we shriek with pain when exposed to sunlight - which is why we are often mistaken for vampires.

But in spite of my love of literature (and contrary to any suspicions that may be raised by my own Casper complexion), I adore The Great Outdoors.  There is nothing I hate more than being confined between four walls for extended periods of time.  One of the main struggles I faced at University was having to contend with a lack of fresh air and the consequent lowering of my spirits.  I spent my days reading, reading, reading and reading some more in underheated computer labs and overheated libraries with windows that resembled the little slits in medieval castle walls used for firing arrows out of.  I suppose the architect thought it wise to minimise the chances of anyone leaping to their death in the throes of essay stress.

However, whilst foraging the internet this evening I made an interesting discovery in the form of Bookyard - an outdoor library in Belgium by artist Massimo Bartolini.  This sent the cogs whirring in my little literary brain: maybe reading could be considered an outdoor pursuit after all?  I've spent the past hour looking up pictures of outdoor bookshelves and I thought I should share some of my favourite finds:

Bookyard - a public library in St Peters Abbey vineyard made by Massimo Batolini for the Belgian Art Festival: TRACK: a contemporary city conversation in Ghent

Hay Castle Books in Hay-on-Wye: a town of bookshops in Wales (road trip anyone?)

More from Hay-on-Wye, where outdoor reading is evidently the norm!

Moonraker Books in Langley, WA

Trees become books of knowledge in Stacks - an outdoor bookshelf installation by David Harper

Ikea create the world's largest outdoor bookshelf on Sydney's Bondi Beach

I feel happy inside just looking at these.  I hope they brighten your day a little too.  Now to sleep, perchance to dream - of forests full of books.

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