About Anna Iltnere

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Photo by Lauma Kalniņa for DEKO magazine.

Ever since I changed the course of my life, I have been living with my family – Emīls, Kristians and Niklāvs, two cats and an occasional dog – in an old wooden house in the coastal city of Jūrmala, Latvia. We live on a dune peninsula, between River Lielupe and the Gulf of Riga.

White beaches stretched for 24 kilometers and the ever-changing sea slowly changed me. I started to read as much as I could about our blue planet and in 2018 I opened a Sea Library with 100 books. Four years later there are more than 600 titles in Latvian, English, Russian, German and French.

It is a room full of books in our hundred-year-old house for anyone to visit. I want to make this unique collection, donated and bought from all over the world, as accessible as possible. You can borrow by post or come and visit.

Now I am writing my own book about the bumpy road to the Sea Library. The idea for the book grew out of this very personal essay. Meanwhile, you can read and also listen about this magical place in press: Sirene Magazine, BBC Radio 4 and others. Your support would help to keep the library afloat.

In the summer solstice of 2022, I started working at the National Library of Latvia while still steering my own ship.

I’m off for a swim now, but you can always find me here.

Anna x

“All Sea Stories Are True.” Photo by Beach Books.