A New Year and Old Books

I’m sitting in the British Library as I write this blog. When I glance up, I’m confronted by the most beautiful, towering, wall of glass-encased leather-bound books.

It’s only 6 January and I’ve already broken one of my many New Year’s resolutions – to blog more often. But it hasn’t been easy to find the time and internet connections to upload my bookish thoughts. For the past two and a half weeks I’ve been travelling around the UK. Icy Wales, windswept Cornwall, funky Brighton, homely Newhaven and now London, with all it’s myriad wonders.

Today I spent the day in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room of the British Library, scrolling through all the 1910 Madras newspapers that I hadn’t been able to access when I was in India last year. When the British left the sub-continent, they took a big chunk of its history away with them. Fortunately, most of it is archived in the British Library but I hope that one day they’ll return at least respectable copies of what was taken from the Indians (and so many other colonised cultures). It was such a buzz to have access to everything that had been so hard to find in India. I’m still feeling high on the pleasure of it all.

In an hour or so I’ll venture out into the freezing night air. Tomorrow Berlin.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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