Carturesti Carusel Library

Unfortunately, although it was open three years ago, precisely on the 12th of February 2015, I found out about it these days, randomly from a post in a Facebook page called “Carturesti”. The building that exists today was built in 1860, and in 1903 was bought by Nicolas Chrissoveloni, who rent it for some time to brothers Hassan. When the communism established, all their fortunes were confiscated, probably including this building. During communism, it hosted the store “Bazar popular”, which means “Popular fair”, and which later was renamed into “Familia” (Family). Today, the building was recovered by Jean Chrissoveloni, the great grandson of Nicolas Chrissoveloni, who built in collaboration with “Carturesti”  the most beautiful library in Romania, or in the world as some foreign media classifies it (although I am in some doubts about the latter, even if I am absolutely in love with it).

I visited the library last night. I honestly was surprised about how beautiful it can be, although it was told to me that it is . The shelves are very organized and indications are placed on each side of the floor telling you what you can find in that section. The first thing I noticed when I entered the library was the smell of cinnamon and vanilla (probably from the tees placed on that floor) combined with the smell of freshly printed books, which is one of my favorite smells (yes, I am a book worm). The library has five levels, including the bistro and the half basement. First instinct was to go up to the last floor. It was the floor with the bistro. The view was absolutely amazing, and the atmosphere was so bohemian. It is the perfect place for relaxing. With lots of flowers, discreet lightning and the smell of the wood, it is chic and stylish.


The library – view from the bistro

I got down to the third floor. I was surprised to find at the base of the stairs on each side of the floor a panel with indications on what you can find on each side of the floor. On the right there are travel albums, gardening and sports, hobby and DIY, coloring books for adults, photography and architecture. On the left side, the panel indicates items like games and toys, parenting, children books and foreign languages books for kids. What captured my attention were the wooden letters with a magnet on the back which were stuck on the wall indicating the section of the books, so you would know exactly where to look.

After I enjoyed walking along the shelves, I got down at the second floor. Besides the classical stairs placed in the middle of the floor, there were also two lateral stairs, circular form, similar to those from Bran castle. Interesting idea. As I got to the second floor, I studied the area for a while. Unlike the third floor, where you can walk from one side of the floor to the other, the second floor has too bottomed sides, so if you want to go from the right side to the left side you have to go back (which I honestly find a bit inconvennient).

Regarding the books, the floor stores in the right side foreign languages, fiction and nonfiction, philosophy, sociology and aesthetics, business, personal development, psychology and science, spirituality and religion, poetry, theater and critics. Also, the same magnets on each wall indicating the category of the books. On the left side, there is  fiction in Romanian, crime and thriller, SF&Fantasy, Romanian authors, Memoirs and Biographies, History and Politologie (branch of the social sciences studying the activities, relations and institutions of the political systems – according to DEX 2009). I found authors like Orhan Pamuk, Haruki Murakami, Amos Oz, Anna Gavalda, Aldous Huxley, Guillame Musso, Nicholas Sparks, Dan Brown, Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, J. R. R. Tolkien, Mircea Cartarescu, Cristian Fulas (with his book Cei frumosi si buni (The beautiful and the good) which will be launched on January 19th this year). Also I found books like Oscar si tanti roz (Oscar and the Lady in Pink) – which is a sad story about the bravery of a cancer sick boy, Brooklin Girl, Dexter – which I must necessarily read it sometime as I enjoyed the TV Series so much, The lord of the rings and Fluturi (Butterflies) – which I think it is very requested as I saw lots and lots of people reading it in the subway.

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The book sections from the second floor 

After I studied the floor and made an idea or two about what I can find there, I got down to the first floor (or the ground floor if I classify them by types of levels). Here I found all kinds of day to day stuff, like school supplies, tools, tees, tee crockery, jam (I saw pumpkin, blackberries, red grapefruit, huckleberry – also called cranberry, but as there are two fruits with the same term I decided to use this one – and sour cherries), salt caramel, blueberries, fir tree and dandelion syrup, coconut oil, chocolate, granola, wine, some lost books, book lamp, book shaped fan, calendars, maps, magnets, postcards. Pretty good floor for buying a present which is not a book. Also it prepares you for the following floor (the ground floor if you classify them by numbers or the half basement floor if you classify them by types).


Tea crockery from the first floor

Slowly, I got down to the last floor I visited.  It is also structured but, in my opinion, it looks like they wanted to put in it a little of all the above floors. Maybe it quite is. I found vinyls, cook books, spices, movies, music, games (Activity, Dixit, Monopoly, Domino, Go, Carcassone, Catan etc), the entire series of Harry Potter (on the above floors I only found Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Game of Thrones, comic books, headphones, and also the very desired Kendama and Spinner.

After I made my impressions, I prepared to leave and I saw again the wooden reindeer full of books from the entrance. I find it very cute and inspiring. I looked again at the shelves and slowly turned towards the door. I barely walked out as if I wanted to kind of move in there, but unfortunately I had to go. Over all, it was a nice experience and I will certainly go back there as often as I can. It just turned into my favorite library (how could it be some other way?)

© picnicontheshelf, January 16, 2018


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