Saturday, 8 September 2007

I do still exist, honest....

This year has been one of lengthy absences in the world of Stuck-in-a-Book, and for that I once more apologise. Moving to a Real Grown Up House comes with such things as having to set up Real Grown Up Internet, and Virgin are currently reluctant to provide this with any agility. Thus I am currently at my desk, with little to do, and free to fill you in on the week's events!

I have spent my week in, around and under these buildings - most of the ones through the centre of the picture are in fact linked by underground passages. Most of my days have been in the Stack, which is the name for the books stored underground, and it has been a largely enjoyable activity. Though fetching books and returning them isn't on par with neurophysics (is that a thing?) for brain stimulation, the fact that I am dealing with beautiful books, by and large, adds such a lot to the process. And now I am going to make you green with envy. Wait for it.

On Thursday I held a letter written by Jane Austen. Let's put that in caps - JANE AUSTEN. Perhaps bold? Jane Austen. So exciting - it was her actual handwriting, and she had held that piece of paper... Alongside this, did the same for letters by CS Lewis, Hitler's wedding certificate, Kenneth Grahame's handwritten version of The Wind in the Willows, a letter by Robert Burns apologising for being drunk, and asking to avert a duel... all sorts down there. Had the less considerable pleasure of sorting journals such as 'Insurance and Short Wars'.

Will hopefully be back blogging properly by the 18th, but until then will be rather sporadic at best. Will just end by noting another important day - Clare Wigfall's excellent collection of short stories, The Loudest Sound and Nothing, is now available in the UK, and apparently Amazon are doing a deal on it. I blogged about it here, and now you can buy it - go do so!


  1. You are right, I am green with envy.

  2. Lucky,lucky you! Can't wait to hear more.

  3. I am also envious! I have had a tour of the underground areas - are there still the tram tracks and mine cars (my thought about what they looked like) taking books from building to building? The shelving down there was my first introduction to moving shelves. The final surprise cap to the underground tour was to come up from below, behind the circulation desk in the Camera (sorry, can't remember the full/correct name).

    As a tagalong on my husband's official visit (we were there for a week), I was also treated to some special collections - things like ship's menus - and one box of U.S. political material sent by a librarian friend here in Amherst, a friend of our tour guide, Bill Clennell, of the Library.

    Thanks for posting that aerial view of the library area. What is it's source - a postcard? I've never seen that view before.

  4. "Green with envy" doesn't even begin to describe it!

  5. What an astonishingly beautiful photograph ... and as for those letters, well I too am SICK with jealousy!

  6. "Neurophysics"? Well, I can give you neurophysiology, neuropsychology, psychophysics or neuroanatomy...might be on your own with neurophysics, though.

    That is immensely cool about the letters, though. We wants it, precioussss. And welcome back to the world of the blogger!

  7. Wow! Such an extraordinary feeling, I bet! Hope you have lots and lots more.

    BTW, did you know that Harvard's main library (Widener) calls the main collection "the stacks". These great university libraries don't have much imagination when coming up with names for the collections do they?! Perhaps that will be your chore while you are a competition among the staff for an interesting name!

  8. You're in bookish heaven (at least some of the time), Simon!
    Can't wait to hear more of your daily doings once you are properly connected to the world again.

  9. So this is post 101, rather than Room 101. Can't wait for 102.


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