If you are a true book lover, you have probably thought to yourself, “Wouldn’t be a cool experience to stay overnight in an actual library — to sleep among the books?” Well, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that such an experience is possible. Let me introduce you to Gladstone’s Library, located in the quaint Welsh village of Hawarden, United Kingdom. The library, founded by British statesman and former Prime Minister William Gladstone (1809-1898, contains more than 150,000 books, journals and pamphlets. The core collections focus on Theology/Religion, Literature, History, and Politics. The heart of the collection, of course, is Gladstone’s prized collection of more than 32,000 volumes. The library is considered one of the most important research libraries in Wales. But what makes this library truly unique is that it is the only residential library in the UK. That’s right — you can literally have a sleepover in a library!
The Gladstone Library contains 26 uniquely-decorated (mainly book-themed, as you can imagine) boutique bedrooms. As a guest of this incredibly unique “hotel” you have extended use of the reading rooms, containing desks and comfy armchairs, from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. If you get lost in a book, you can take it to your room. Guests can also enjoy three meals at the library’s bistro, “Food for Thought.” Situated on the expansive Gladstone Estate, visitors can also take long walks amid the beautiful countryside.
What sort of people visit and stay overnight at the Gladstone Library? The staff reports, “We’re very proud to say that our users include school, college and university students, researchers, theologians and clergy, local historians, academics, and award-winning novelists, scriptwriters, poets, and playwrights… In the last decade we’ve been made aware of over 300 books that have been inspired, started, revised, finished or otherwise worked on while the writer was at Gladstone’s Library.” Throughout the year, the staff hosts unique programs by leading writers and thinkers.
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For further reading: https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org