----------- soulful transformation through the stars. -----------

7 Apr 2011

first airport library

There aren't many airports in the Western world that don't house a book shop of some kind. But did you know there were such things as airport libraries?

The first was actually in Nashville, TN, USA. Nashville Public Library opened up a reading room at the airport in 1962.

Amsterdam airport also has it's own library.

Although at both airports you can't actually take books out, so really, they're both more like reading rooms.

In Taiwan, just this year, they opened up the first airport ebook library.

"... four hundred titles in its collection, available in English or Chinese, and in ePub or Zinio formats, which can be read in the airport, but not taken away or downloaded onto the user's own device. Whilst publishing house Harper Collins has placed a limit on the number of times their ebooks can be downloaded in libraries, initiatives such as this imply that ebooks could become an integral part of library services in the future."

Nothing worse than being stuck at the airport without reading material, and then being short of cash or forced to buy just any paperback from the store. Airport libraries! woohoo!

What with libraries at risk in the UK, we know we need to support them by buying less and borrowing more.

{source, source}


  1. I didn't happen upon the library in Amsterdam's airport! How did I miss that? Or is it a recent edition? I am almost shocked that the Southern United States would be the first place for a library in an airport. Being from Atlanta, it's actually pretty awesome to know. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Being stuck in an airport or on a long flight with absolutely no reading material would be an absolute nightmire. Airport bookstores are always so overpriced and (in my experience) usually only carry popular genre fiction and the occasional political autobiography.

    Those libraries look amazing! I don't plan on being in Nashville or Amsterdam any time soon, but I'll keep my eye out for them if I'm ever there. Thanks for posting these!

  3. That is a great idea! I would love a quiet place to read at the airport. When I fly home, I usually have a several hour layover and it's difficult to read in the uncomfortable chairs at the gate with noisy people around.

    I have never bought a book at an airport bookstore. From what I've seen, they don't carry the type of books I generally read.

  4. It is a great idea. Here in the US I've only seen bookstores/newsstands at airports--no libraries.

  5. Thank you for mentioning our library at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
    The reading room at Nashville Airport was closed in 1965, at least that's what they told us when we checked. Our library is open since juli 2010, the official opening was on august 25th.

  6. Thanks for dropping by and clearing that up for us.

  7. Oh, I think this is great, but I wish it wasn't so limited. It sucks to be at an airport without reading material, but it may suck EVEN MORE to get very involved in a book and then have to LEAVE it because you can't take it with you for a very long flight. I wish publishers weren't so bizarre on the e-book borrowing rights.

    But awesome idea :-)

  8. Ha, yes, I thought the same. But I suppose that if you really loved it you'll buy it or borrow it at a later date.
    A short story collection would be good.

  9. I've never heard about airport libraries, but what a great idea. I try not to go anywhere without at least one book in my possession, because I hate to be stuck waiting without something to read.

  10. I'm possibly rare in that I really enjoy long-haul travel. I never normally get so much uninterrupted reading time. I've even been known to relish the odd delay! So, for me, the books I take are carefully chosen and are always at the top of my packing list. The idea of a library/reading room is a great one, though, and next time I'm passing through Schipol I will definitely seek it out. Nice find!

  11. Really like the idea of an airport library. Love the vibrant colours in that second picture.

  12. Interesting concept, Monica! I didn't know that there were airport libraries! I love that picture of the Amsterdam airport library - so colourful! I normally carry books with me when I am travelling - atleast three or four :) Sometimes I shop at airport bookstores too. It is fun to discover the kind of stuff they have at airport bookstores. I once got a novel which was a humorous account of the adventures of an American traveller in China and I haven't found it anywhere else. I also got the third volume of the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud at an airport bookstore. I also got Bill Bryson's 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' at an airport bookstore and gifted it to a friend who was travelling with me, because it was his birthday. I also got a Russian fairytale book with beautiful Palekh paintings at an airport library. So, airport bookstores have been wonderful to me.

  13. Earthdreamer, I feel like that about long car journeys - some of my best reading time, now with a toddler in tow. :)

    "a Russian fairytale book with beautiful Palekh paintings at an airport library."
    Wow Vishy, what a find!