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Bulgaria Opens its First Beach Library

By: RTV/CBS
By: RTV/CBS

For holidaymakers who reach the end of their beach books earlier than planned, one Bulgarian resort is offering a new service: a library built just yards from tourists' deck chairs.

Albena's beach library is the first in the European Union and the third worldwide.

Its stock of over 2500 volumes in more than ten languages is so far proving a hit, especially because every book on the shelves at the Black Sea resort in northeastern Bulgaria, costs nothing to take out.

The resort's deputy manager said the variety of books was helping the library's popularity.

"I think there is a wide choice of books and authors," said Yovka Strashilova. "Also, the library is getting richer because of our guests who leave their own books when they go home for others to read."

Current book genres range from world classics to thrillers, mysteries, romantic readings and memoirs.

It is a diversity that seems to be captivating young and old alike.

One Bulgarian woman who was spending time on the beach with small children said she was pleasantly surprised. "I found books for me, they have found books too and they are fixed to the library, I can't move them," said Mira Ivanova.

The library was a nice way for the children to make friends, Ivanova added.

The project was the brainchild of Herman Kompernas, the German project manager at "Albena" PLC.

Kompernas designed the library, which has 140 shelves and space for over 4,000 titles. He said the search for a special durable material to withstand the seaside elements was not as problematic as you might expect.

"We found the proper material very quickly," Kompernas told Reuters TV. The material is resistant to sun and strong winds, and in wet weather vinyl rollers sealed by zippers protect the books.

"We also found a stabilization method very quickly," Kompernas added. "We chose a sort of palette construction for under the library, which you can't see here, to make it very stable against the wind."


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