A derelict library

In today’s report you’ll find photographs taken in a derelict library located on the grounds of a former medical institution.

This is quite a fascinating site that is well preserved and has a unique atmosphere.

Once upon a time we went on a jaunt to explore the grounds of a former medical institution. Unfortunately, the main buildings were very well locked and the security guards were very close by.

We had abandoned all hope when we noticed a small light colored and nicely designed building. It was also locked up, and all windows were barred. But shortly after it turned out that one of the windows had been simply left open, and my size allowed me to squeeze through a narrow hole past the bars. I went to the next room and froze in astonishment: I had never expected to see a library! I immediately felt the familiar smell of books from my childhood.

It wasn’t the smell of mold and rotting, but the smell of paper, book bindings, wooden bookcases. When I was a child, I just loved walking around a library and felt thrill, admiration and respect for the thousands of books around me. At that moment, I again felt the urge to put down my camera and start exploring the backs of the books in a search for new titles, stories, travels and knowledge.

Inside the building is divided into three parts: a reading room, which (a bright, light space with portraits of classical writers on the walls), the storage space where the library stock was kept (a long and dark hall with piles of books thrown together and abandoned) and a gym with training equipment (of all things!). You can see further details in the photos.

1. The reading room with a portrait of Anton Chekhov. This is quite a spacious and well-lit room.

2. First of all, let’s take a tour of the building. The next room is the storage with the library stock. The books on the shelves are for the most part either fiction or medical. Naturally, the titles conform to the Soviet-approved classics program.

3. A long hallway leads us to a door that opens heavily. When we enter, we find ourselves in an entirely different environment. A small gym with weights and machines is before us.

4. Then we go back to the main room. In here more contemporary literature, magazines, detective stories and other popular reading of this kind can be found.

There’s a portrait of Maxim Gorkiy nearby. On the stands, there are books about the Great Patriotic War, nature and memoirs of summer and the sea.

5. There are a lot of war-themed books in the shelves.

6. In one of the hidden corners we find Alexander Pushkin looking down at us from the wall and a few dozens of volumes of various encyclopedias — the Great Soviet, Children’s, Medical. A real treasure!

7. And now let’s back to the storage rooms. They are in absolute chaos.

7. It’s dark in here, but nevertheless interesting — the ray of the flashlight lights up the backs of great books by Jack London and one of my favorite writers Oscar Wilde.

8. The floors between the shelves are literally covered in books. They are right under your feet, lying about on the shelves, put into piles. Stepping on the books feels wrong, and you try to avoid it.

Fortunately, here it is still possible, unlike in some other abandoned libraries that are not so well preserved, where things are much worse.

There is a whole pile of medical books in front of us as well as some boxes from the file cabinet.

9. From the main reading room you can go up to the window, sit down on the sofa and read.

10. I felt the desire to stay here for a while and hang out in this book paradise.

11.Dozens, hundreds, thousands of books are around. Will their life end here like this? Will life come back to this place someday or will someone take away the books?

But where can they be moved? Mostly all the books in the shelves are worth nothing, and are basically scrap paper… Apart from the encyclopedias, of course. It isn’t easy to look at all this, but you get used to such things in time.

12. And then, like always, we couldn’t do without adventures. We heard a key turning in the door of the gym, a male voice, and took a quick run past the bookcases and a leap into the thick bushes that grow around the building.

Places like this are rare to find, and they really sink into your heart.

Images by alexdoomer2009, reproduced with permission

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