Lit & Phil

Jen and I have just returned from a few days’ holiday in Newcastle upon Tyne. One of the places we were very much looking forward to visiting was the Lit & Phil, the UK’s largest independent library outside London. It’s a wonderful local resource, which, I was pleased to see, was being made good use of by assorted locals on the morning we visited.

The Lit & Phil’s collection is immense. We wandered around the downstairs rooms and upstairs galleries for an hour reading the spines of books, pulling out and browsing ones that took our fancy. It was remarkable to see so many wonderful old books readily accessible; intended to be made use of, rather than mouldering away in some inaccessible back-room. This is how libraries ought to be, as far as this aging curmudgeon is concerned: books, books everywhere, and scarcely a terminal in sight. A library packed with books: just imagine the possibilities!

I hope the good folk of Newcastle count themselves blessed to have such a magnificent resource available in the middle of their great city.


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