A library tour through Dresden on two wheels

What I really like about reasonably large cities is that they have district libraries. A central library and lots of small district libraries, spread out everywhere so that everyone can get books as quickly and easily as possible.

I grew up in a reasonably large city and even back then I went to the nearest, "my" district library. But I didn't read that much back then. It was only later that I realized that I really did go to the local library a lot. Just because. Because a library is a nice place.

Dresden is a reasonably large city. There is a central library in the city (I really appreciate and miss it!), and lots of small disctrict libraries scattered all over the place.


A Friday in March two years ago. I had taken the day off work to clear my head again. I had been living in Dresden for a few years at that time and, as it is so often the case, I could barely get my feet in the places I appreciate so much. It was already foreseeable that I would move away from Dresden sooner or later. I can imagine that this was a medium sized kick behind that got me on the bike and finally pursuing the wish I had been harbouring for some time: to visit several district libraries in one day on a short bike ride.

So I packed a bottle of water, a notebook, my pencil case and my little Olympus XA2 point-and-shoot camera.

I had chosen four libraries for the day (Bibliothek = library):

#1 Bibliothek Cotta

#2 Bibliothek Pieschen

#3 Bibliothek Blasewitz

#4 Bibliothek Gruna

I started in the suburb Südvorstadt (in the south of the city) and then cycled clockwise through Dresden. It was just under 30 kilometres - an impressive distance for me who normally only used my bike for grocery shopping. The route on Google Maps has been traced; I certainly did not cycle that way, I know myself. I rather took a detour here and there, intentionally or unintentionally. And the duration must be wrong five times.

I stopped a few times along the way to take photos of pretty/cute/notable corners. I orientated myself in the libraries, browsed around, tried out seating options and used tables to take notes. I enjoyed the children's book corners and the books on display that looked interesting. It must be a gift to be able to make a good and appealing selection. Feeling FOMO when a great book was on display that I would never find again if I wanted to borrow it. Thought that books are just as diverse as their authors - and the challenge lies in finding the right book that picks me up exactly where I am and what I'm looking for. In the Bibliothek Blasewitz, there was a CD corner with a CD player. I had to try it out and was catapulted back to my teenage years when I went to Saturn (an electronics store) in the nearby shopping mall with a friend on rainy Saturdays to listen to random 30 seconds of a track before moving on to the next song. I cycled along the Elbradweg (a cycle path) a bit and watched how spring lured people to the Elbwiese (Elbe meadows) at lunchtime and was amazed by a roller skater who skated like a figure skater (backwards, spinning, smooth). I got to know other neighbourhoods and rated them as beautiful or at least unique. I had lunch in the sun, and in the afternoon I finished the day happily at my kebab store of trust.

There is still so much to say: about libraries, about exploring the place where you live, about books, about travelling. But not today, that's enough for today. I say this to myself first and foremost.

From top to bottom: (1) On the way to Bibliothek Cotta (2, 3) Bibliothek Cotta (4, 5) Bibliothek Pieschen (6) Pieschen

Camera + lens: Olympus XA2
Film: Agfaphoto APX 100
Developement: self developped
Scan: Charlie Engel Lab 2.0


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One Reply to “Eine Bibliothekstour durch Dresden auf zwei Rädern”

  1. […] Eine Bibliothekstour durch Dresden auf zwei Rädern Auf die nimmt uns Mai Quynh mit und macht Lust auf Bibliothekencharme 📚 und vermittelt das schöne Gefühl von Sonntagnachmittag-Nostalgie. (War bestimmt nicht am Sonntagnachmittag, aber hey…) […]


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