Different characters of different books feature on the cover.
Different characters of different books feature on the cover.
Information on The Times.
Information on The Times.
Sheet music for The Royal Fireworks.
Sheet music for The Royal Fireworks.

Book Review: Books Books Books by Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom

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Kids in Museums Volunteer Maggie Monteath loves visiting The British Library and until she read Books Books Books, she’d never thought of taking children there.

It’s wonderful to enter the courtyard of The British Library and leave the noise of Euston Road behind. Sometimes I’ve gone to an exhibition there, sometimes just enjoyed a coffee away from the hustle and bustle but now I’ve read this book, I find there’s so much more I could be doing there.

Books Books Books starts with a brief history of The British Library, including some fascinating facts, like how the bookshelves would stretch from London to Edinburgh.

It draws you into the world of books by taking you through just a few of the 150 million treasures in its collection. Budding historians will enjoy learning about the history of books along the way.

Did you know they have the oldest surviving book in Europe? This is a handmade gospel from Lindisfarne – more than 1,000 years old. There are stories about the earliest superheroes, like Beowulf.

Moving into more familiar territory, Books Books Books tells us that The British Library has The Magna Carta and The Canterbury Tales, which I now know is the first book to be printed in English on a printing press.

They have big books too, like Charles II’s atlas that took 6 people to lift, as well as sad books like Lady Jane Grey’s prayer book.

Shakespeare’s first folios are there too, so precious that they are kept in bomb proof strong rooms deep underground!

‘Bake Off’ fans might like to have a look at Mrs. Beeton’s 1861 cookbook, there are some most unexpected things in that.

Books Books Books tells visitors and readers who like science, that they have the best, as well as the strangest, medical books. Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks and Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ are examples.

For those of us who prefer fiction, The British Library has the tales of Alice and Sherlock Holmes, books by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and Grimm’s Fairy Tales – please don’t read those at bedtime.

Musicians might like to see Handel’s handwritten score for The Royal Fireworks or possibly the 60 million newspapers might keep you busy for a while.

Sadly, these aren’t all available to pop in and see but have a look at the website which tells you how you can arrange to look at particular books as well as having details of their exhibitions and events.

‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic’ is coming shortly so if this review hasn’t whetted your appetite for a visit, that might.

You can also book their free family events online or download one of their free family trails. I’m definitely going to do that next time my grandchildren are coming to stay!

Oh, and don’t forget to have a look at this book before you go, if your local library doesn’t have a copy, The British Library will.

Books Books Books is published by Otter-Barry books at £14.99. 

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