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Sleeper hit: You can bed down for the night at Gladstone’s Library

The world’s only residential library, in Hawarden, Wales, is turning a page online after video highlighting on-site hotel rooms goes viral

Nodding off with a good book is often a great end to a tiring day – unless you’re sat in a library. Snoozing among the shelves is usually the preserve of sleep-deprived students staring looming dissertation deadlines in the face.

But at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, Wales, you are actively encouraged to bed down for the night.

The world’s only residential library has turned heads in the last few days after bookworms woke up to the fact that the you can stay in one of their 26 boutique rooms as well as burying your head in the pages of one of the 150,000 books and printed items on offer.

Founded by William Ewart Gladstone – four-time British prime minister and reported reader of 22,000 books – before his death in 1898, the library opened its doors as St Deiniol’s Library in 1906 and still contains annotations and notes from Gladstone himself in up to 10,000 publications.

Bucking the UK trend of closing libraries and axed staff, a Buzzfeed video exploring the unique setting has hit almost five million views – within half a million off the 5.4 million library visits in the UK every week.

And if the clip doesn’t sate your appetite for a stopover then the cosy common room and bistro cooking up homemade food also serves up a reason to check out more than just the latest bestseller.

Gladstone's Library bedroom
Gladstones-library-bedroom
There are 26 bedrooms at Gladstone's Library for bookworms to bed down for the night

It’s not just a joy to stay at Gladstone’s – last year library assistant Gary Butler told The Big Issue how he still treasured every unexpected discovery as he worked his way through the extensive collection of books, pamphlets and printed items.

The Big Issue is not snoozing on libraries in this week’s magazine celebrating World Book Day. Pick up a copy from vendor as The Death of Stalin scribe Peter Fellows asks ‘What are libraries for?’ and stars Dermot O’Leary, Clare Balding and more share a story about sharing a story to toast reading.

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