I love libraries. Believe it or not, despite living in a bookshop, it is my idea of a fun day out. It is not at all the busman's holiday that you'd think it might be. Just over a month ago with Mr J. and Rachel of Bewitched by Stitch I went to The John Rylands Library in Manchester. It is the most glorious building, mostly on open access and with a changing series of exhibitions. It also has a very reasonably priced cafe full of excellent home cooking.
It is very Victorian with Gothic blending into Arts and Crafts. It was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband, John Rylands and apparently Mrs R had charge of the interior furnishings and, incredibly in such a grand building, the little reading spaces in the main library have the most homely feel as a result. Well, I could cheerfully move in at any rate!
The details throughout were delightful: the varied roof bosses, the huge number of matching oak chairs with delicate carved top rails picking out features of the building and little brass castors to two legs so you can move your chair without disturbing other readers. I loved too the green glass on the lights and the oak panelling - all this and books too!
Here you are, a little taster...
I'm furthest away from the camera (above).