Sunday, 29 June 2014

Public Bookcase

Öffentliches Bücherregal - Celle
Öffentliches Bücherregal
I am a great lover of literature, and applaud initiatives for the free dissemination of the written word in all its forms, whether by public libraries, reading rooms and cafés, or over the internet with Project Gutenberg. I don't think I have ever come across a book-case on the pavement before, where people are invited to pick up a book they fancy and take it away then bring it back.

I spotted this example in Celle. Whilst I love the idea, I hope that it isn't the fore-runner of the way publicly provided libraries are going to look after spending cuts to library services! And where can I plug my e-reader in to download a book?

If you are interested, here are the rules for using the bookcase:

Rules for using the public bookcase in Celle
Rules for using the public bookcase

"This is the bookcase for Celle Neuenhäusen.

To ensure that all book-lovers in Celle have pleasure for a long time, there are a few - not many - rules:

  • You can use the bookcase at any time.
  • You can choose a book.
  • You can borrow it and return it.
  • You can keep it if you put another of your books in the cabinet.
  • If you like it so well that you want to keep it for a while, you may do that too. However, if it really is so good, it should also be read by others.
  • If you have at home quite a lot of books that you would like to bring, then please bring only as many as will fit in the cabinet.
  • If something is broken, then please phone .....
Books give pleasure! Books are friends!"

Another, though commercial, venture that I admire is the number of book vending machines in Hamburg: The Hamburger Automatenverlag. It's certainly a better use for old cigarette vending machines than supplying cigarettes!

Similarly I have noticed that some Bahnhof vending machines dispense little yellow books alongside the Kit-Kats, crisps and cans of cola. These are published by Reclam Verlag, who I find out were the first company to introduce book vending machines in Germany. More information in that article I linked above, and on Wikipedia here.

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