By Esin Huseyin
Today marks World Book Day, a day which I fondly remember as a child, such as collecting my National Book Token which allowed me to buy certain books for £1! It’s great to see that this year more than 14 million tokens will be distributed to children and young people under the age of 18.
Since my time at primary school, it’s become quite popular to dress up as certain characters from books. Who would you be? If you do have young children, or are after more information on World Book Day, please take a look at the site.
Fortunately for all of us book lovers out there, although we may not get the chance to grab these tokens, and revel in our fancy dress, we still get the opportunity to explore the places that bibliophiles dream of.
Daunt Books is one of my favourite places to visit when I’m on the hunt for particular books, or if you’re looking to browse for new titles – it has a lot more character than a Waterstones or Foyles. This independent booksellers was founded in 1990, and originally had a shop on Marylebone High Street, and now has over five stores. It’s strong aesthetic and range of titles is perfect for new readers and connoisseurs alike. Take a look at our review, here.
Find out more: dauntbooks.co.uk
With a collection of over 150 million items – manuscripts, maps, magazines, prints, drawings, music scores and patents, and obviously books, it’s no surprise that The British Library has made it onto the list. Housing some of the most famous texts including the Magna Carta and Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook. You do need a reading room pass to access many of the items here, but you can wander into the cafe and stand in awe at the glass wall of books before you. The library does also showcase regular exhibitions, so be sure to check it out.
Find out more: bl.uk
Curious Reading Rooms
If you’ve been an avid reader of Maybe It’s Because, you will know that I can’t get enough of the Wellcome Collection, as they showcase thought provoking and interesting exhibitions – for free, and the reading room is no different! It’s not just a reading room, it’s an events space and even a gallery. The spacious and open plan room is home to over a thousand books and 100 objects – it even has bean bags, perfect for some laid back reading. You can explore the books and objects, exploring the human body and what it means to be a human. You may be lucky enough to catch an event as well, check times on the day.
Find out more: wellcomecollection.org
The Bush Theatre is famous for it’s famous plays, but the Cafe Bar is the perfect place to cosy up with a book if you find libraries a little too daunting. You’ll find yourself surrounded by bookshelves, whilst you enjoy the snacks and drinks that are on offer. Open from early morning until late at night, it’s not just the perfect spot for pre-theatre drinks – you can bring your laptop along and even enjoy the free WiFi, perfect place to work out of.
Find out more: bushtheatre.co.uk
Institut Français is a worldwide network that promotes the French language and culture, with the mission of teaching the French language. The multimedia library is the stuff of dreams, as it is the largest free-access collection of French material in the UK – you can access around 60,000 items ranging from novels, comic books, feature films and magazines. It’s the perfect place to start your journey into the French language, to brush up on your skills, or a environment to sneakily bring your own book and tuck yourself away in a nook.
Find out more: institut-francais.org.uk