Czech Republic Named among Ten Best Countries for Book Lovers

Czech Republic Named among Ten Best Countries for Book Lovers

We know that Prague has one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, but did you know that the Czech Republic can also claim the distinction of being one of the countries with the most libraries in the world?

Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies master of information management program compiled a data set in late 2016 that determined the best countries for book lovers based on which nations have the most, and the fewest, libraries per 100,000 residents.

The Czech Republic came in at #6 on the list with over ninety libraries per 100,000 residents. It was bested only by Latvia (#5), Belarus (#4), Finland (#3), Palau (#2), and Slovakia (#1).

A similar study from 2013, reported in this New York Times article, found the Czech Republic to have the densest network of libraries in the world.

Image: ischoolonline.syr.edu
Image: ischoolonline.syr.edu

Per the new data, Slovakia, it turns out, is a paradise for book lovers: it grabbed the number one position on the list with close to 150 libraries per 100,000 residents. 

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Based on statistics from the Online Computer Library Center Inc (OCLC) and the World Bank, the survey also revealed that the United States ranked 62nd on the list with 30.35 libraries per 100,000 residents.

The lower ranking countries tended to be those in politically turbulent and economically depressed areas, though study researchers have pointed out that it is impossible to factor in those nations such as Iraq and Syria where libraries are regularly destroyed.

To find a library near you, see our article Prague Libraries; you might also want to check out the Bibliobus a mobile service of the Municipal Library offering English-language titles among its catalog.


Elizabeth Haas

Elizabeth Haas is the editor of Expats.cz. She has lived in Prague for 12 years working as a writer and editor of cookbooks and travel guides. Her work has appeared in both Czech and American publications.

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