Have you ever been to the British Library in London- that oasis of calm buzz, industrious looking people plugging at their laptops, tons of books, good coffee, and the BEST experience of comfortable armchair dwelling whilst working on laptop, single person research units ever? (see the sneaky photo over there that i just took on my mac- these are armchairs with a little retractable desk plate and a place to plug in. Flipping great for the person who likes to be snug whilst they work).
Yeah, I’m at the library. First floor passage between the Humanities and Social Sciences. In front of this big glass cabinet/book-piled monument, filled with old looking gold-lettered spines.
I am delighted to be reading/thinking (ok, blogging too) in this comfortable space, where knowledge and diligence just seems to fug in the air. It feels a good place to come when working on the PhD at home gets too exhausting and when you wanna bring sizzle back into thinking – being at the British Library kind of performs academic productivity, if you know what I mean.
My hotspots for doing the PhD:
- British Library when I want abit of energy / academic socialising. Brilliant for accessing £50 books on memory that I can’t find elsewhere.
- Goldsmiths Library when I want to masquerade as an arts student, soak up the hipness, and just cycle a few roads from my house.
- Bed/desk- a perennial classic. One day I hope to have the $$ to rent a place where I have a bedroom for sleeping, hanging out etc and another room just for an office. Imagine! It seems luxurious. The mark of a “proper academic”. One day, my friends.
- The Women’s Library- sitting in the reading room, flicking through old copies of Spare Rib, Shocking Pink, etc fills me with much feminist history joy. See here for more on that. A snippet of history about the Women’s Library- it was founded in 1926 as the Library of the London Society for Women’s Service and was first homed in a converted pub. In 1953 it was renamed The Fawcett Library in honour of the suffragist Millicent Fawcett. It shuffled around locations, including once being in a basement that was prone to flooding, and now, with the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund of a few million quid, it’s in a converted wash house in the East End.
Still to be explored: The Feminist Library.