If there’s one place that really shapes the start and finish of a great trip, it’s the airport. Incheon international way be the world’s best airport but Amsterdam’s Schiphol is certainly giving it a run for it’s money, especially for the book-worms among us. Say hello to the airport library!
In a previous article, we mentioned how important it is to take books with you while on the road. But what if you forgot your favourite book at home, or if you have already finished the one you had started?
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport just opened the world’s first airport library! Aimed at travellers with connecting international flights who spend potentially long and tedious stopovers. What better way to pass the time than sitting in a quiet (super trendy) library reading up on the latest news, starting a new novel or book or poems.
The airport’s newest addition was only possible thanks to grant money from the Ministry of Education and has been in the planning stages for four years. Apparently the book list takes a lot longer to prepare than you’d think! Now that it’s open, travellers passing through Amsterdam can read Dutch books translated into 29 foreign languages, chill out to Dutch music, flip through catalogues of Dutch art and design and play around on one of nine library iPads.
Unlike most conventional libraries, you don’t need a library card since you can’t borrow anything. You can sit and browse as long as you like though, without feeling the pressure to buy something like at the other airport book stores. Another plus, the library is open 24/7.
Around 18 million passengers a year fly to Amsterdam to catch other flights, each with an average stopover of 5-7 hours. Most never leave the airport and hence never have the chance to get in touch with anything Dutch. The library hopes to change all that since all of the library’s material is either written by a Dutch author or is on a subject relating to the country’s history and culture.
Next time you’re passing through Amsterdam, don’t cringe when you see you have a 4 hour stopover, head straight to the library and snatch up one of the over-stuffed arm chairs. Download some music onto your iPod or mobile phone and sit back with a good book.
What are you favourite airport features or facilities?