I shall be here…
In fact, probably here…
With my nose in something like this…
The London Library is the world’s largest, independent, lending library. It holds over 1,000,000 books on 17 miles of shelves, folded into a magical labyrinth of seven separate, but knocked-together, buildings.
Ninety-six per cent of its collection, dating from 1700, sits on open shelves available for members to borrow. The remaining 4% of rare, fragile and older books are available to study, on request.
The London Library never disposes of books; the collection simply continues to grow, with every edition marking a singular place in time and thought.
The basement holds, amongst other collections, over 200 years’ worth of original copies of The Times.
And, I’m now a proud, lucky and very happy member, thanks to my wife.
(I’m sure it’s not a plot to get me out of the house and reading other people’s books instead of buying my own.)
- A 1651 copy of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan
- A 1611 copy of the King James bible
- Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language.
Although, in the virginal browsing of my first trip, I spotted a fascinating book from 1891: Edwin Hartland’s The Science of Fairy Tales. And, two 18th century editions of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. And, a text on the history of Stoic thought in Ancient Greece and Rome.
…And, he was never seen again.
- https://londonist.com/2016/06/secrets-of-the-london-library – an interesting overview of the library’s history: “The London Library was born in a fit of rage in 1841…”
- http://www.haworthtompkins.com/work/the-london-library – the architects responsible for the latest, award-winning, expansion and refurbishment.
Featured image: Haworth Tomkins (http://www.haworthtompkins.com/work/the-london-library). Other images: Andrew Munro