Thursday, January 20, 2005

The London Library

An excellent piece about the London Library by Tom Stoppard (link via The Literary Saloon). Very enviable. I agree about the usefulness of taking books home, though I love the British Library as well. And all other libraries: most particularly, the Columbia Library and the whole BorrowDirect phenomenon, which lets me request books to arrive within the next few days from a consortium that includes Yale, Penn, Dartmouth, Princeton and a number of others.

My grandfather bought a lifetime membership in the London Library (I'm sort of making up the details here, I didn't write it down at the time) in the early 50s for fifty pounds (a lot of money then, but a remarkable bargain in the long haul). And my grandparents were rather economical folks; when he sort of stopped using it in the mid-1990s as he hit his 80s my grandmother was vexed thinking about whether it could be converted into a lifetime membership for me. Which was very sweet but impractical.


  1. Hi Jenny-

    Thanks for the Literary Saloon link.

    Do you have PDFs of any of the essays from The Best American Essays 2004?

  2. No, I don't, but you might be able to use the Amazon look-inside-the-book thing to get some of it? I also imagine that many of the essays must be available free online in the periodicals they were originally published in, so that if you looked on Amazon at the publishing acknowledgments page, you'd get some tips about where to find some public-domain stuff.