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Free outdoor library in Berlin's Bebel Square

CCTV.com

04-23-2016 00:24 BJT

Full coverage: World Book and Copyright Day

Germany is a nation of avid bookreaders, with the greatest density of bookstores in the world, and a third of the population getting through at least 18 titles a year. They are so keen to read, in fact, that their libraries are spilling out on to the streets!

On Berlin's Bebel Square, the sights of Spring can be enjoyed on comfy couches surrounded by books.

"It's wonderful to have a place to sit and rest during a trip around the city. And it's a very good idea to combine resting and reading. People can pick up a book to read immediately here."

"I feel it's a popular project. It's really a marvellous thing to read a book here."

On Berlin

On Berlin's Bebel Square, the sights of Spring can be enjoyed on comfy couches surrounded by books.

The idea began in nine Austrian cities in 2009, and has since expanded to more than 20 cities including Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

Berlin is the first stop of this year's tour. Besides free reading, other events include Family Reading Day, Meeting the Authors, and Reading Aloud.

"We hope we can encourage people to take up their interest in reading, just sit down and relax, read and fantasize. I think many people ignore reading in this fast developing world, but reading should be encouraged because books are a very important cultural treasure," the organizer said.

And Germans are really into their reading! With its population of just 80 million, Germany is the world's second-largest book market and has the world's highest density of bookshops. Germans spend far more time reading than surfing online and typically carry books in their bags for moments of spare time. According to official data, more than a third of Germans read more than 18 books a year.

"People don't need any guidance here. They just pick a book and sit down to read. The atmosphere is good," said the organizer.

With so many people coming to libraries in Germany, now the libraries are coming to them!

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