A Kind of Library

In our series on the Prime Writers’ favourite libraries, marking National Libraries Day, Dominic Utton, author of Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time, praises the Bodleian Library, in Oxford.

I’m lucky enough to still have a Bodleian card (despite getting sent down from Oxford University) – I love the Upper Reading Room in the old Bodleian.

Bodleian Library, Upper Reading Room, window, credit John Cairns, copyright Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford RESIZED

Photography by John Cairns, copyright Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Not only because of the history, grandeur and atmosphere of the place, or that you can’t help wondering just how many geniuses have sat in the same seat before you, what amazing thoughts, ideas, sentences were dreamed up there… but because their super-strict policies mean there is literally nothing else to do but write.

The place is at once incredibly inspiring and oddly really boring – and so perfect when you’ve got to knuckle down and hit the deadline free from all other distraction.

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