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The Literary Man – A Library-Style Hotel with a Collection of Over 50,000 Books

If you ever decide to visit the medieval village of Obidos, in Portugal, you needn’t bother bringing a book to pass the time. Just book a stay at The Literary Man hotel and you can choose from its collection of over 50,000 books.

Established in 2015, The Literary Man has already become famous as the world’s best hotel for book lovers. It features a constantly growing collection of literary works, most of which are written in English. Books can be found virtually everywhere inside The Literary Man, lining the walls of its massive lounge, on the bed stands of its 30 bedrooms, at the in-house gin bar, and even in its old wine cellar. The over 50,000 literary works cover a variety of genres, from novels and poetry to cookbooks.

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Filipino Man Turns His Home into a Public Library to Help Kids Learn to Read

Retired Filipino accountant Hernando Guanlao has found a wonderful way to spend all his free time – he’s set up a public library right outside his home and he regularly hands out books to poor children for free.

Hernando’s little library is very relevant to the society he lives in, where many children drop out of school to support their families. He says that he set up the library to honor his parents and the only inheritance they left him – an insatiable love for learning. “As a Filipino who didn’t have the opportunity to go to other places, I wanted to do something before I turned 70 that would help other Filipinos,” he added.  “And books are my means to do that, so I can bring people joy, and help them not feel left behind. It seems to me that the books are speaking to me. That’s why it multiplies like that. The books are telling me they want to be read… they want to be passed around.”

Readers are allowed to take as many books as they like, and return them whenever they please. According to Hernando, “The only rule is that there are no rules.”

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This Japanese Bookstore Only Stocks One Book at a Time

Japanese bookseller Yoshiyuki Morioka has come up with a highly unusual concept for a bookstore – he sells one book at a time in a tiny shop located in Ginza, Tokyo’s luxury shopping district. Ever since he launched the store in May, he has stocked multiple copies of only one title per week. 

You might argue that it’s hardly a bookstore if you can’t go in and spend at least a few hours browsing through hundreds of volumes, but Morioka never intended to create a classic bookstore. It’s like a weekly ‘suggested reading’ service – you just go in and pick up the book chosen for the week, relieving yourself of the burden of choice. Morioka said he came up with the idea a store that solely focused on one book at a time after organising several book-launch events at his old bookstore.

“Before opening this bookstore in Ginza, I had been running another one in Kayabacho for 10 years,” Morioka told The Guardian. “There, I had around 200 books as stock, and used to organise several book launches per year. During such events, a lot of people visited the store for the sake of a single book. As I experienced this for some time, I started to believe that perhaps with only one book, a bookstore could be managed.” To finance the store, Morioka sold his huge collection of Japanese wartime propaganda, famous for the quirky, strong graphics.

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Barber Gives Free Haircuts to Kids Who Read to Him

Courtney Homes, a barber at Dubuque’s Spark Family Hair Salon, recently came up with unique way of charging children for haircuts – he asked for stories instead of money! He’s passionate about supporting kids reading, so he had his little clients read out loud to him as he worked on their hair.

“The kids would come in, and I would say, “Go to the table and get a book you might like, and if you can’t read it, I’ll help you understand and we can read it together,” Holmes told reporters. “To be honest, I was amazed, the line started with four kids, and next thing I knew it was like 20 kids, all waiting for a haircut and eager to read.”

Homes conducted the unique initiative during the second annual Back to School Bash at the city’s Comiskey Park. Lots of kids showed up to get free haircuts and read to Homes in return.

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South African Homeless Man Refuses to Beg, Makes a Living by Selling Books on the Pavement

Philani Dladla, a homeless man living on the streets of Johannesburg, is probably the last person you’d expect to be a bookworm. Yet, the 24-year-old is quite a voracious reader. And instead of begging like other homeless people, he has chosen to make a living by reviewing and selling books.

South African director and cinematographer Tebogo Malope played a tremendous part in bringing Philani’s unique and inspiring story to the world. Malope, 29, recorded an interview with Philani called the ‘Pavement Bookworm’; the videos have gone viral since he put them up online last year.

The two-part interview features Philani speaking about the books he has read and why he likes them – the man is so full of infectious joy as he discusses his love of reading. His sense of passion and appreciation of books is extremely rare, especially for someone who leads a difficult life. Philani seems unfazed by his own living conditions, he only wants to tell the world how great it is to read.

pavement-bookworm

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French Artist Buries Himself in a Tiny Hole for Seven Days, to Read

How far would you go to find some peace and quiet for a nice read? French artist Abraham Poincheval stayed buried for a whole week in a tiny underground hole in the underpinning of a Marseille bookstore, with books as the only company.

On September 20, Abraham Poincheval began his unique performance, aptly entitled 604,800 seconds. Equipped only with a headlamp, some water, freeze-dried food, a camera and most importantly a small stack of books selected by the booksellers at the “Histoire d’un Jour” bookstore, he descended into a 62cm-wide and 1.7m-deep shaft dug in the underpinning of the Marseille venue. The size of the hole meant he couldn’t sit or stand up, making the claustrophobic experiment all the more difficult. He was covered with a stone lid and started enjoying his seven days separated from the outside world by reading. During all the 604,800 seconds he remained buried under the bookstore, Abraham filmed everything he did (which obviously wasn’t much, since he could hardly move), and the images were projected on the walls of the bookstore/gallery. He also stayed in touch with civilization via a microphone and speaker, which helped him communicate with visitors.

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