Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Best Thing About My Trip to Prague? The Libraries and Bookstores Of Course!

Whenever I travel I love to visit libraries and bookstores and while I was in Prague I did exactly that.

Klementinum:The National Library of the Czech Republic:
You are able to take a peek of this library that not only dates back to 1722, but has been deemed the most beautiful library in the world. The tour includes a visit to the library along with a visit to the top of the Astronomical Tower which provides stunning views of the the city. While you are not able to enter the library, you can stand in the doorway (no photos allowed) and see the the 20,000 volumes plus beautiful art that adorns the ceilings and walls.
While I was waiting for the tour to begin, I wandered around the complex and saw this great summer reading poster. I then stumbled upon what I believe was the public library. I wasn't allowed to go past the circulation desk without a library card, but loved seeing row after row after row of card catalogs. This photo really doesn't do the amount of card catalogs justice.
Strahov Monastery Library: As I walking practically straight uphill to visit this library, I walked past the Swedish Embassy. This large Pippi banner hung from the building. I love Pippi!
The Strahov Library dates back to the 12th century and is simply beautiful. Again, I was only able to stand in the doorway of this library but photos were allowed for a small fee. There were just a handful of tourists visiting the library while I was there. While this was nice for me, it is a shame that more people aren't visiting this space because it is so beautiful.

The Bookstores:
I love to visit bookstores in other countries to not only see which English books have been translated into that countries language, but to see what's popular there and how they have made their children's section appeal to kids.
What surprises me time and time again is how few picture books get translated. In fact, I didn't find any in Prague, it was just chapter books. 
I was able to find books by Mac Barnett, Jory John and Holly Goldberg Sloan

Books by Raina Telegemeier and Jeffrey Brown
Books by Mo O'Hara and the Spirit Animals Series
 Diary of a Wimpy Kid is just as popular in Prague as it is in the United States
 Percy Jackson was also everywhere. This is just one of the banners that they had for him in a bookstore as well as Blood of Olympus.
I must have visited at least 10 bookstores and my favorite children's section was at Palac Knih: Palace of Books. The section was not only huge but had a wide variety of children's books, plus areas for children to sit, explore and create.
I had a wonderful time in Prague seeing amazing sights, eating amazing food and exploring libraries and bookstores.

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