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The Emotional Library in Kaunas (Lithuania) displaying the new section of books, Source: Kaunas Municipality

Emotional libraries count on your feelings when choosing a book

Emotional libraries count on your feelings when choosing a book

The first four of this type were established in Europe

Reading aficionados in four European cities can now head to their local libraries and pick a book based on their current emotions. Thanks to a Creative Europe project, called ‘Libraries of emotions’, participating libraries in the municipalities of Kaunas (Lithuania), Anderlecht (Belgium), Lodz (Poland) and Kranj (Slovenia) have decided to try a new approach to curating and categorizing their books.

Rather than by genre the book will be grouped based on the emotions they evoke in the readers.

Feelings rather than logic often determine our choices

The innovative approach, which borrows from psychology and marketing, is based on the idea that people tend to make their choices based on their current mood, rather than on solid and objective logic.

And if we tend to do that even for non-emotional products like food, clothes and electronics, then why not do it for books, which are works of art and are specifically meant to impact our inner worlds.

This completely new concept of the library puts the reader's experience and the emotions evoked by the book in the first place, front and centre.

The Library of Emotions allows you to search for books and select them based on five basic emotions: joy, wonder, sadness, anger, and fear. Love is also included as the sixth emotion because it plays a very important role in many books. Marked emotions make it easy to choose exactly the book that the reader needs at the time.

Readers are also given the opportunity to change the location of the book on the shelf if it evokes a different emotion for them than the one indicated.

The librarians have selected 500 books for the Emotional Library section. Each book on the list is rated on a scale of 1 to 10 for emotions. It also provides recommendations on where, at what time of the year the book is best to be read, for whom it can be difficult to read, or how long it takes to read.

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