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The Traveller's Magazine
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With carry-on luggage so half-pint these days, there’s little room to pack reading material for a beach holiday. Tel Aviv has got your back with a bran new Beach Library, serving beach bums five different languages. Library cards at the ready!

If you’re caught at the beach on your holiday in Tel Aviv this summer without anything to read, don’t worry. Just meander on over to Metzizim Beach‘s new 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. There are currently 523 books available to borrow but this is constantly changing as tourists take books out or swap them for new ones.

Summer reading: Travel Books of the Year

The best part? The service is completely free!

It’s the city’s culture department that is responsible for the project. The department head told The Jerusalem Post,

“The idea behind it was first and foremost to make books accessible to the largest public possible. In fact, the general goal is to make sure that people read and that they don’t see books as this far-away thing, but as something which is present everywhere.”


It’s a novel idea and based on the honesty system, so no library cards required. There is not even a librarian manning the book cart! Beach-goers 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.

This year is just a test, to see if the system succeeds or not. With luck, the project will spread to more of the city’s beaches next summer.

Img: jgoge, helga weber / Flickr cc.

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