Book Weather

In most of the inhabited world right now, it's perfect book weather - the chilly air outside is a perfect motivation to stay indoors with a good read, preferably rugged up by a heat source (fireplace, significant other etc.)

In my corner of the world however, the outdoors is currently the place to be, and all the better if you happen to have a book with you. There's fewer things more relaxing than sitting by (or in) the pool with a beaten up old paperback, or laying in the dappled shade of your local park. Add a cosy rug and a frosty drink, and that's pretty much my idea of summery perfection.

Which probably goes a large way to explain why I'm so enamoured with the idea of open-air libraries. Don't get me wrong, I love the enclosed types too, but it's hard to resist a bookcase on your footpath!

Holly blogged about these great community bookcases she stumbled upon over in Hannover - the bookcases are stocked up with donated books, and everyone is free to borrow and donate books as they so desire.

I love the idea of stopping by a micro-library on my way to the park and selecting whatever happens to take my fancy...especially when I can swap it for books I really should stop reading. (I'm looking at you, Twilight!)

For something a little more permanent, Karo Architekten have created the ultimate in open-air libraries. Located in Magdeburg, Germany, this little slice of book-loving heaven was designed with the local community. What began as a temporary installation back in 2005 was kept alive by the locals, and now they have a stylish monument to all their hard work.

Working on the same Give and Take principle, this project is a great demonstration of the effect a little people power can have on your surrounds.

The final design is also a cheeky nod to the building materials of the initial intervention - beer crates. Is there anything they can't do?!

I especially love the mixture of grass, landscaping and informal nooks and crannies. Even the graffiti adds a little something to the overall tectonics.

Cute reading nooks aside, I'd be making a beeline for the greenery. There's something blissful about the smell of freshly cut grass, and it's even better when you can lie around and soak it in. The only downside? Walking into an afternoon meeting with grass in your hair or smooshed into the side of your face doesn't really send the right message. But with a little help from Shinyoung Ma's ingenious 'Sleepy Joe', that's a thing of the past.

The sneaky inflatable book cover also doubles as a pillow, so if all that reading and relaxing gets too tiring, an afternoon nap won't do any damage to your career...or your hairstyle!

Fingers crossed for some good book-reading weather this weekend! What do you have planned?

P.S. If you happen to be in Sydney this weekend, take a break from your book and make sure you stop by the Once Upon exhibition and support your local arts scene - you know you want to!


Vanya-Endless Inspiration said...

I love this idea, free/donated books gorgeously displayed on the side of the road, perfect for me and my ferocious reading appetite, then I could just donate them right back for the next person; there so need to be more of these in the world.

I hear you re: the Twilight series, I demolished them in record time, I have to say, pretty repetitive and badly written, but so compelling - ah trash huh bless it :)

Helen said...

oh wow this is amazing! i'm a library student at the moment so this is really interesting for me. i like the idea of taking the books out of the physical stereotypical library. don't think it would quite work in england though with all the rain!

Jade said...

I wish I could have something like that around my area. Just a shame it would be ruined by thugs in about 10 seconds flat.

Tracey said...

I love the concept of an open-air library...such a wonderful community-minded idea to promote reading out and about in the world... 8)

belinda graham said...

there is a community bookshelf in fitzroy, melbourne outside of Galerie Montmartre ( Shelley (the owner) started it recently after seeing Holly's post on it and it's been really successful so far. such a great idea! hope i didn't turn you off the garland too much! it's ok once it's there (i changed the lightbulb recently - i'd been dreading it - but it all stuck in place magically!!

Betty Scandretti said...

These are amazing! The closest I've ever come to this is a doctor's office that stocks novels instead of magazines. Maybe one day the trains and parks and restaurants will all be supplied with books. Thanks for sharing!