De Leeszaal (The Reading Room) is an initiative that was started in 2012 as a result of many public libraries in Rotterdam closing due to lack of money. The founders thought this was a dreadful shame and therefore decided to start their own public library. However, De Leeszaal is not a usual library. Certainly there are books and you can read them there or take them home, but you don’t necessarily have to take them back. You can also bring your own books and leave them there for others to enjoy.
In this sense De Leeszaal is about more than just books, it is about a community feeling in the city. You can read there, use the Wi-Fi, have a cup of coffee, hang out on the sofa or just poke around and browse. They also organise all sorts of activities such as poetry evenings, language lessons, breakfasts for self-employers. De Leeszaal has a very friendly atmosphere and I think it’s a nice and interesting place to work for a while or just step in to if you have some spare time to fill.