More than Words

Reading in Zagreb: Discover Magical Places Filled with Knowledge, Education and Fun That We Like to Call - Libraries!

Find out why you should always read something and go to the library, and where to do it in Zagreb

In the modern era, libraries are becoming a lost art. Going to libraries is something that people used to do, but they are doing it less and less. Why is that so? People read every day. But they read social media posts, online blogs, and if they are reading books, more often than not they bought them on Amazon.

Libraries are heavily underrated

So why should you go to libraries anyway, in this era where everything can be delivered to your front door? Well first and foremost, they are usually very cheap. You can get one-year-subscription to a library for the price of one book from Amazon. And if you are an avid reader, that compounds over time quite a bit. Libraries also have a lot of magazines, scientific papers and similar material that you would usually have to buy, and you can read them there free of charge. The second reason is that libraries are full of surprises! I usually look for one book and then I stumble upon something else that amazes me, and I go home happy and excited! And you can really find anything in libraries, a lot of different topics to read; and since everything is put in order, you can easily find what you want, or ask a librarian to help you out.

Photo credit: Lovre Antić


Studying and working out of a library

If you are a student, studying in a library is usually more productive than being at home, where there are constant distractions. The atmosphere of the books around you, the smell, the quiet…if that can't get you to study and concentrate, maybe not much can be done. On that same note, you can work out of a library as well. Nowadays most of them have free or cheap wifi, so if you work on your computer, library can be a good option, better than a crowded cafe bar for example.

 Photo credit: TZGZ, Marko Vrdoljak 

Meeting somebody

You say Tinder, I say library. If you meet somebody in the library, chances are he or she is a smart, interesting and well-rounded person. So quality over quantity counts here. I'd much rather say that I met someone at a library than an online dating app, it just sounds better. You can find some like-minded friends as well. This works for all sexes and age groups.

Libraries are great for kids

All people should read books, that's not even a question. But it is even more important for kids to read because it can boost creativity, thinking, concentration, problem-solving etc. There are so many great children's books that can keep a kid occupied for hours, even days. So parents please cut down on smartphone and video game time for kids and introduce them to characters of J.K. Rowling, Mark Twain, Astrid Lindgren, Sue Townsend, Rudyard Kipling and many others. Zagreb has done a great thing and made libraries free of charge for all children under 15 years of age.

Zagreb Libraries

Zagreb has an organised network of libraries, and there is at least one in every part of town. Two focal points are ''The City Library'' and ''The Library Božidar Adžija'', and they are the main organisational structure of Zagreb Libraries, which includes around 40 library branches.

Zagreb Libraries have an online catalogue which can tell you which books are available in which library. There are also useful links to free books and content on the Web, audio files, and material for the blind called ''I hear, I trust, I see''. A digitalised version of some old historical documents of Zagreb is also to be found online on the web page of Zagreb Libraries. You can also borrow and watch multimedia content, such as movies and music.


Zagreb libraries often host various events. There are lectures, readings, book signings, promotions, workshops for kids happening all the time in the libraries across Zagreb, and the schedule is easy to find online. There is more than a dozen reading clubs formed in various libraries as well. Zagreb Libraries are a part of various humanitarian projects and work with different NGOs in the city, but some on the national level too.

Currently, the Month of Croatian Book is underway, until 15th of November. Its goal is to promote reading, so during the month, there will be daily readings and lectures across the country, read by famous writers, actors, librarians, and locals. As a part of the programme, there will also be an online quiz that will encourage reading, called ''Not reading is out of the question'' as well as competition for elementary schools, where the focal point will be reading out loud and practising reading and public speaking.

The 11th of November is the National Book Day in Croatia, which will hold many activities and manifestations, among which is the award for a library of the year, which was won by the city of Prelog and its library, and it will be awarded on that day.

From the 7th to 12th of November Zagreb will again be a host of Interliber, international book fair, where many people come to buy, sell and promote books, magazines, comics etc. It is really popular in Zagreb, and if you are in town during the fair, you should definitely check it out.

Photo credit: TZGZ, Julien Duval

Read, read, and then read some more

Reading is extremely important, and people should constantly spend some time every day on reading. Life knowledge of an author is compounded in a book, and you get to see it and learn from it. You'll be smarter, more creative and have a better perspective and understanding of life. Not having the time to read is a common excuse for all non-readers, and most of them are logging several hours per day scrolling on social networks. Don't be like that, make time for reading books.


 Heading image credit: TZGZ, Julien Duval


Author: Lovre Antić