Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.*

So where do two bookish girls go on their first full day in London? The British Library, of course! Well, and it helps that it was just around the corner from our hotel. No, we didn’t stay here…

but only because I didn’t realize how amazing the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel is. And, also, it’s maybe a bit out of our price range. But we weren’t far from there so we started hunting around for the library. It took us a while to find it and we first walked into a local branch before coming across the real thing. The problem is that it didn’t look on the outside like what I expected. I was expecting the Library of Congress. What we found was quite different.

I almost wanted to skip it (because I’m shallow like that) and move on to the next thing on our list (the Highgate Cemetery, which I was super excited to visit), but we figured we might as well take a peek inside. I’m so glad we did! Inside was suitably impressive.

In fact, I liked it better than some musty old place. In the very center is the King’s Library.

And off the side is a room that displays some treasures of the library. Nothing much – just an original Gutenberg Bible, some handwritten pages by William Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Jane Austen, and several amazing illuminated manuscripts. No big deal. Except that it totally was. It sounds silly, I know, but I felt so emotional viewing these treasures. I have always loved the written word, of course, but I also realized the importance of the illustrations in the illuminated manuscripts and how they passed on our most sacred stories through centuries.

We couldn’t take photos inside (a very disheartening trend throughout all of London, as you’ll see), but while I was refreshing my memory for this entry, I found out there is a Treasures of the British Library app, so you can carry all of that in your pocket.

As for the guessing game…

There were some good guesses, but I think my sister must know me too well. She guessed 4770 photos. The actual number (altogether) was 4601. (Phew… that’s a lot of photos.) So congrats, Mamers! You finally won something on my blog. I can’t wait to give it to you this weekend.

*quote in the title is from Lemony Snicket. And it’s true, you know.


  1. Amanda · October 12, 2012

    Yay!!! First thing I did this morning was check your blog. I’m super excited! I can’t wait to see y’all! I’m going to use exclamation marks with everything I do today! Because I’m so excited! I love you! Have a great day! Smile often! That’s what I used to always end all of my emails with! Smile often! Okay see you soon!

  2. janeisawake · October 16, 2012

    I share your amazement at the hand written pages – totally worth getting a bit choked up over in my opinion. London is still on the “one day” list for me.

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