Summer is all about conquering the outdoors, from going on a hike to beautiful mountain tops to getting a perfect tan at the beach. If you’re going to be in France this summer, swing by one of the pop-up seaside libraries for a different experience at the beach.
Readers have been heading down to the book-filled beach huts that authorities have set up along the coast of Normandy in northern France and other beaches around the country. Travellers can take a break from sunbathing or swimming and head on to the seaside library for a quick read. Picture this: sitting back in a deckchair at the seaside library while listening to the waves and being towered over by dramatic cliffs along the coastline.
Etretat is one of the 12 French resorts where authorities have opened library beach-huts specially for the summer. From now till 26th August, you can find more than 1,000 books filled in each of the wooden huts. The “Read At The Beach” scheme has been introduced in Normandy since 2005 with three such beach-huts and has welcomed more than 38,000 readers as of last year.
Image credit: Spedona
Elsewhere in the south of France, the Herault region has attracted approximately 21,000 book enthusiasts to its beach-huts last year. The idea has been taking off in various countries such as Australia, Bulgaria, Israel and Spain as well.
Here a Normandy, you are more than welcomed to dive straight into a book while you’re at the beach. The only condition is that readers have to stay in the deckchairs provided, and they are not allowed to bring the book along with them down to the sea — just a measure to prevent sand from getting in between the pages.
This summer, approximately 400 chairs are available around the beach-huts. Travellers can visit daily from 2pm to 7pm. There’s no need to worry if you’re not well versed in French, there are also books available in English, German and Italian, catering for an international crowd.