homeHOME descriptionABOUT personTEAM languageLINKS


A lot of books are only read once and then end up in the back of a bookshelf. This is what public bookshelves want to prevent. They are located in different corners of the city of Zürich and fulfill the sharing philosophy. Take one, bring one back. The exchange of books is made easy by this as everyone can bring and take books as they like.

One initiant of a bookshelf was interviewed and told us what it takes to build a public bookshelf. "Well, obviously a shelf and a place to put it, but also some books for the start of the shelf." To the question which could possibly be the problems with bookshelves, the person answered: "A bookshelf still needs some maintainance, sorting out books which have been in there for a while and simply sorting the books that the exchange looks tidy, that takes up some work every month or so … but else it works quite well. You just notice that some people think that you can only take books if you bring back books as well and then put in encyclopedias of 1973 (laughs)".

Still, public bookshelves enrich the sharing initiative of Zürich and provide possibilities for books extending their lifespan. If you were inspired to bring or get some books, check our list of locations. Do you know any public bookshelves which are not listed? Please contact us to make the list as complete as possible!


Public bookshelf (Image: Lou Pfister)