With carry-on luggage so half-pint these days, there’s little room to pack reading material for a beach holiday. With its ever growing street library scene Tel Aviv is like always the place to be!
It’s a novel idea based on the honesty system, so no library cards required. There isn’t even a librarian manning the book cart! Book lovers now have the freedom to go up and choose their title, take it and are asked to simply return it when they’re done or replace it with another novel they’ve already finished.
The best part?It’s free, it’s fun, it’s Tel Aviv!!
Given that Tel Aviv has recently been rated at a top literary town up there with Paris, Dublin, and Seoul as one of the best literary cities, thanks to its streets named after famous writers, and that it is home to poets Rachel Bluwstein and Chaim Bialik, whose former house is a regular stop — and a city museum — on city tours. It makes perfect sense that this beach city would be seen as the city of readers. It started with bus stop libraries in 2011, branched out to beach libraries last summer, and now Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has opened its first street library on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv.
It’s the city’s culture department that is responsible for the project. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, said that the service is not only for Tel Aviv residents but also for the tourists that flood its seashore and the commuters who help its businesses thrive.“Tel Aviv is the city of everybody,” he said. “We have only 400,000 residents but 1 million people commute every day to the city, and one of the services we provide is this lovely beach. To have this library is very nice; ordinary people can take a book when they come and then put it back when they finish.”
Imagine yourself at the beach on your holiday in Tel Aviv without anything to read, don’t worry. Just meander on over to Metzizim Beach‘s infamous lending library where you can borrow books in English, French, Hebrew, Russian and Arabic.
Amazingly cool, right? The Beach Library looks a lot like an ice cream van; that is, a library on wheels. It’s got a prime location, right next to the city’s busiest and most popular beaches. The library isn’t short of interesting titles. The library offers a variety of books (prose, poetry and more) in Hebrew, English, French, Russian and Arabic. You can browse for an interesting book and read it nearby for free, and return it when you’re done.
As long as we’re talking about literary cities, we’ll give a mention to Jerusalem, the city has some magical spots for sitting, reading, and contemplating. For a cozy reading spot, try Tmol Shilshom, the beloved cafe named for a famed story by Jerusalem’s Nobel Prize-winning writer S.Y. Agnon.
Remember that there’s a great shady bench right outside, overlooking the view to the Dead Sea beyond.