London for Literary Buffs: No Kindles Allowed
London is a book-lover’s dream, especially considering the vast number of excellent writers that have called Britain home – dating all the way back to Chaucer, Shakespeare, and whoever wrote Beowulf. Whether you’ve got a few days or you’re one of the lucky ones calling London home for an extended stay, there’s no shortage of hot spots where you can feed your literary inner child. Check out a few of our favorites.
- The British Library: Yes, the British Libraryis massive. With more than 14 million tomes competing for space with journals, newspapers, magazines, and every other format of the written word you can image – and three million new items added every year – it can be overwhelming to try and take it all in. Fortunately, wise librarians have curated a collection of the most popular and well-known works. A permanent exhibit called “The Treasures” features early Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” selected Beatles’ lyrics, and early bibles.
- Westminster Abbey: At the South Transept of Westminster Abbey lies Poet’s Corner, where visitors can pay tribute to such literary greats as Chaucer, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, and many more of the literary greats who are buried or commemorated there. You’ll note a creative array of memorial forms, from the basic slabs bearing the writer’s name to sculpted busts to elaborately carved stone works of art.
- The Folio Society: Don’t let its size fool you: This diminutive shop in Central London is big on all-things-literary, with rows of shelves carrying a mammoth load of big, heavy hardcover books. The Folio Society is as much a tribute to British literary tradition as it is a dedication to the visual arts. The organization’s pride itself on publishing beautifully crafted versions of the world’s best literary works, so – even if you can’t afford the hefty price tag on these one-of-a-kind pieces – you can stand in awe of the splendor as you gaze up at the stacks.
Well, that’s the short list of London for literary gurus. What did we leave out? Tell us your favourite place to kick back with a book or celebrate the greats of British literature.