Tourist Tip #307 / Tel Aviv’s Beach Bookmobile

A mobile library along Tel Aviv's promenade offers reads in five languages and for bookworms of different ages.

They say a vacation isn’t a real vacation without a good read to go along with it. The next time you fly to Israel, though, you won’t have to pack heavy books or load up your iPad or Kindle with the latest best-sellers.

Instead, you can check out Tel Aviv’s new mobile beachfront library, where sunbathers and intellectuals alike can check out more than 500 books of prose, poetry and children’s literature -- in Hebrew, English, Arabic, Russian and French.

The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality launched the project, which brought the first bookmobile to Metzitzim beach, a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Beachgoers can take their pick and read it for free while they lounge with a cool drink or sunbathe.

You don’t have to leave an ID card to borrow a book and there are no fees for keeping it out for an extended period of time, but you should avoid smudging suntan lotion on it and try to wipe the sand off before bringing it back.

The city plans to put more mobile libraries at other beaches along the promenade, parts of which have gotten a major facelift in recent months and now offer plent of comfortable spots to sit.

The library at Metzitzim beach is open every day from 7:30 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. and, unlike the city’s other public libraries, you won’t get shushed here.

Reuters