Monday, 23 May 2011


I've been neglecting my blogging duties recently - every time I've thought about sitting down to write something I find I have something else to do. I'm trying to do odd extra bits and pieces of writing here and there in my free time and I've also set myself various crafting activities which are probably beyond me but which I will blog about at a later date.
However, all this industry has led me to discover Bristol Central Library, which is one of my new favourite places.
With a lot to get done a couple of weekends ago I decided I would be more focused if I took myself off to a place of study, rather than staying in my flat with all the distractions it contains.
I love libraries and joined the one nearest to me - Redland Library - a while ago, thinking that I would do my bit in supporting it.
But I was disappointed on my first visit to discover that their categorisation system consists of dividing everything into "story books" and "not story books". OK, I'm over-simplifying a bit, but it is pretty much novels in one section and everything else - including plays and poetry - lumped together under non-fiction.
I found this absolutely baffling; not only is it very difficult to find anything but it seems to show a complete disrespect for the books.
I do understand that it's a very small, local library, but I do think a library is one place where you'd expect people to understand that Katie Price's autobiography should not be filed in the same category as Hamlet. 
I thought about writing a letter expressing my dismay, but instead I just stopped going and instead thought longingly of the British Library in London, where I've spent many happy hours pretending to be Virginia Woolf.
However, as I said, I needed somewhere to get some work done and I thought I'd give the city's library system another chance.
And you'll be pleased to hear that the Central Library met my exacting standards. It's grand and beautiful and studiously hushed. I was there mainly to use the computer so I didn't inspect the categorisation system at length but it looked suitably complex. And everyone there seemed to be deep in learning.
In short I was impressed, and my faith in libraries has been restored.

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