I arrived just in time both to witness and to share in the experience of this cultural phenomenon – it is frequently remarked upon that Brits just love their queues (perhaps only superseded by Russians). But i thought this has to be a pretty remarkable example. For do you what know these folks are lining up for…?

Well, this is, believe it or not, a queue to get into the British Library Reading Rooms at St Pancras – at 9.30 on the dot. Yes, you read it right! A Library – which was where I spent a very happy day today. And these lovely people are just desperate to get in… to read books. Now where else on this terrestrial ball would you find such a thing?

Oh, how I love this country…

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Melinda

    Wow! I spent a year at the British Library when doing my MA – I never had queues like this.Though I think I recognise one man in your photo who was a regular when I was there – in 99/00! So he’s been queuing to read books for 8 years.

  2. Jo

    Ah as a Librarian, that picture makes me very happy – people still want to use libraries and that means jobs for the poor librarians!

    Glad to see your doing some reading Mark, but did not think British Library had any books on U2!

  3. Raquel

    Really, guys, I’m trying to see the English sense of humour of this but I don’t get it. Do you really love the fact that people queue to read books that they can probably read at home? Is this a estrange way to socialize and to find excuses to see people? Um, very weird, indeed…

  4. Chris Wright

    i use the British Library a lot and I love it too, but I’ve never seen people queuing like this – we all just mill around the door till the staff open it and shove our way in very politely. And Raquel, there are millions of books in the BL that nobody has at home…!
    Tell you what I dream of when I’m in the BL…. In the New Creation, what will happen to all the untold riches of human civilization contained in the hundreds of miles of shelving in the BL (and all the other libraries and galleries and museums of the world?) Obliteration? i think not. Redemption? I dare to hope so. Imagine eternity to enjoy and understand all human culture – with all the evil sucked out of it forever (and no queues to get in).
    Oh – and this is the first time I’ve commented on your Blog, Mark. Is there a prize for newcomers?

  5. markmeynell

    Hi Chris
    Thanks for commenting – i’m afraid there are no prizes except for the kudos – oh and perhaps a crunchie bar if you’re REALLY nice

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