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Modern China / Trip Ideas

Dive into “an ocean of books” in wintertime

By Xinzhu Xiao

December 11

Snow is falling, books are calling. In fact, winter is the best season for reading. Here are three distinctive libraries that allow you to dive into “an ocean of books” in China.

Snow is falling, books are calling. In fact, winter is the best season for reading. Here are three distinctive libraries that allow you to dive into “an ocean of books” in China.

China’s most futuristic library: Tianjin Binhai Library

The interior of Tianjin Binhai Library. [Image Credit: VCG]
Tianjin recently opened a futuristic new library that contains a staggering 1.2 million books. The five-story library features cascadingfloor-to-ceiling bookcases, which acts as “everything from stairs to seating”.

In the middle of the building, sits a magnificent spherical auditorium. The “books” above the actual bookshelves are actually painted onto the building to look like full shelves that continue up to the ceiling. This gives visitors the sense that they are walking inside an eye, which inspired the library’s nickname: “The Eye of Binhai.”

The enormous design project was helmed by Dutch design firm MVRDV in collaboration with local architects from the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute. Following a three-year construction period, the Tianjin Binhai Library opened on October 1, 2017.

China’s oasis of knowledge: the National Library of China

An aerial view of the different levels in the National Library of China. [Image Credit: VCG]
Ever wanted to know more about Beijing’s history or China in general? The National Library is Asia’s biggest and best equipped library. It holds the largest collection of literature and historical sources in Chinese language in the world and is theperfect place for locals and foreigners seeking to immerse themselves in Chinese culture and history. Its prestigious and worldwide reputation makes it one of the central landmarks in Beijing.

The library is divided into different levels: located around the base is a large space containing a contemporary library with reading rooms, reference works and a reference library, then above this level is the digital library, synonymous with the future, global communication and networking. For foreigners, passports are required tohave access to the library.

The world’s loneliest library: Sanlian Public Library in Qinhuangdao

Sanlian Public Library is standing on the empty beach of Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province. [Image Credit: VCG]
Relaxing on the beach with a book to read has long been a favorite pastime of holiday-makers.

Chinese architects have taken the concept one step further by designing the Sanlian Public Library on secluded sands in Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province.

Crowned as “China’s loneliest library”, visitors have to walk to reach the library as there are no roads nearby. There are books available on the first and second floor, with visitors reading quietly while being able to admire the peaceful sea views.

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