CEN/Capella Book

Lush Library With Worlds Priciest Books Opens

This exquisite library featuring a collection of the world's most expensive books has opened its doors.


The library, based in St Petersburg, Russia, contains more than 5,000 rare books which date between the 16th and 19th centuries.


The awe-inspiring library, named Book Capella, has been financed by publishing house Alfaret, who over the years have published reprints of all the original books the library contains.


Project coordinator Irina Khoteshova said the average price per book stands at between 30,000 and 50,000 RUB (400 GBP and 700 GBP) with some rare and old items being "much more expensive".


The facility boasts a number of themed rooms for book lovers to explore, including a war room and a travel room.


Khoteshova said it is based on the famous saying by Jorge Luis Borges: "I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library."


The library charges a 7,000-RUB (90-GBP) entry fee which allows visitors a four-hour visit. Skint book lovers can pay 4,000 RUB (60 GBP) for a two-hour stay.


Alfaret publishes reprints and facsimiles of Russian and international masterpieces. The publishing house says that the Book Capella is primarily aimed at its clients, collectors, and professional historians.


Khoteshiva said: "We see our potential patrons as business people who would like to visit the library instead of spending the evening at a restaurant. That way they can spend some quality time in its cozy surroundings with a good book for company, or conduct business talks and other important meetings with their partners in a pleasant setting."


She said the Book Capella hopes to attract government officials, public figures, and anyone who cares about books.