The futuristic library that went viral has been exposed for being a lot less than it seemed in pictures.
The Binhai Library in Tianjin, China, has been making the rounds on social media for its incredible white floor to ceiling bookshelves, and all-around gorgeous interior design.
It’s pretty much a book lover’s dream come true:
But upon closer inspection, you can tell the rows and rows of books in the library’s main hall are actually rows with images printed on.
There are undoubtedly a couple of books strategically placed across the bookshelves, but they’re pretty few and far between.
According to the library’s deputy director Liu Xiufeng, the library has other rooms in which there are traditional bookshelves (and are actually filled with books), but authorities didn’t allow Binhai to put books in the main hall.
He told AFP that even the books that were on display in pictures were temporary, and soon had to be removed.
The main atrium is only approved for “circulation, sitting, reading and discussion,” not book storage, authorities have decided.
“There’s quite a big difference between the photos and reality,” Jiang Xue, a medical student, was quoted by AFP as saying.
People on Chinese social media website Weibo weren’t very impressed either.
“Binhai’s library design is beautiful, but it’s hard to tell which books are real and which are fake,” said one user.
“Today I went to the Binhai library that everyone’s talking about. But…most of the books are fake…” another user added.
They shelved the initial plan to have people access the main hall’s books.
The six-storey building, which was designed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, currently contains 200,000 books.
MVRDV had first planned for the upper bookshelves of the library’s main hall to be accessible via rooms placed behind the atrium. However, a fast-tracked construction schedule meant they had to abandon the idea.
Nevertheless, people have flocked down in droves to get a glimpse of the library, with checkouts reportedly having quadrupled since the opening.
An average of 15,000 visitors flock to the library every weekend.
Lets hope there are enough books for everyone.