Sunday, July 1, 2012

Reading experience unparalleled!

I am a die-hard fan of good libraries...the first reasonably good library I encountered was in my first year of college. The Madras Institute of Technology library in Chennai might not be the biggest and it is certainly not the most well maintained, yet, it had a special charm for me. I borrowed books almost every week but almost always, returned them untouched...the library was my abode during short breaks and the aircraft model opposite the entrance always reminded me of black and white images. 

Then, there was the British Council Library near the TVS bus stop on Mount road. There were days when I had spent more time there than at my college campus. If I got a 4 hour break between classes, I would catch a MTC bus, go to the library, browse through the collection and come back in time for the class....those days!! 

In Bangalore, I began to frequent Mylib. Located in the southern part of the city, it is a compact, well equipped library that lives up to its "neighborhood library" tag. Run by two wonderful and passionate people, am sure, it will branch out and expand soon..! You can read my post on it here.  Even at work, my love for libraries remained undiminished. The SRR campus library of Intel and the Koramangala library of Bosch, well, to me, they are special places!

Books & Media collection

Now, coming to the point of this post, I recently became a member of the Stuttgart city library. At a yearly membership fee of 15 EUR, one can borrow as many as 15 items at a time (books or media) and return them a month later. It has nearly 20 branches distributed throughout the city. Whilst I have been frequenting the branches at Feuerbach and zufenhausen, the latter mostly, today, I decided to visit the main branch at Mailänder Platz. 

Reading area for children
It is a massive structure, spread over 8 floors and boasting of jaw-dropping infrastructure! I have never in all my life seen such a rich collection on so many wide variety of subjects. Art, Culture, travel, business, management, information technology, literature, books for young children, music, dance, languages and media in almost every European language the collection is simply mind blowing! 

View from the one of the gallery halls
Infrastructure is ultra modern and tasteful. There is an entire floor of media and books dedicated to children on the second floor. It is a treat to the eyes to see such interiors....if only, we do even 10% this back in India!! A cafe at the 8th floor serves drinks, salad and pastries. Of special highlight are the gallery halls, located centrally in every floor starting from the 4th. 

I picked up 2 finnish, 1 french, 1 spanish and 1 turkish movie, a novel by JM Coetzee and an essay collection by Emerson....pure indulgence! 


Unknown said...

Thanks for the info Siva. Would love to become a member too!!

Shiva said...

Welcome Suhas...! Its worth it if you join...