Book Mountain reminds us how we stayed smart before e-books

With all of the focus on digital books these days, it's easy to forget that so much of the world's collective knowledge is still only available from good old fashioned paper books. This public library aims to spice up the image of the dusty old archives by making it into a place you'll want to visit.

I must confess that I don't get into my local library too often these days, but if it looked like this beauty, I'm sure I'd become a regular.

"Book Mountain" is in the center of the Dutch town of Spijkenisse, and houses the town's 70,000-volume collection. There's space for an additional 80,000 books as needed, and they're all laid out to impress in a sun-filled space that encourages reading the old fashioned way. The two miles of shelving can be accessed using staircases hidden in the center of the structure, while a reading area tops it all off.

When I saw the design I thought that all of that sunlight wouldn't be too good for the books, but the library points out that its books have to be replaced on average every four years anyway due to regular wear and tear, so any potential sun damage isn't going to shorten their lifespan.

Check out the gallery to see Book Mountain's gorgeous architecture from every angle.

MVRDV, via DesignBoom

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