Picture Perfect

4 June, 2010

Simon of Stuck in a Book has posted a meme asking us booklover’s to choose a picture or painting that encapsulates our reading taste (you can find a list of what other bloggers chose here). I spent a whole week thinking hard about this and was on the verge of posting an image of the Vitruvian Man but stumbled upon this picture I’d taken last year. Can you guess what it is?

If you have been to the British Museum lately, you will realise that it is part of the roof of the Great Court surrounding the Reading Room where Karl Marx once did his research for Das Kapital. The vast space was used to store all the books until the British Library moved to its new, modern location at St. Pancras. I was lucky enough to do some research at the library as a student just before the big move and loved everything about it, from the worn leather seats to the wooden desks, the deep hush that you can only experience in a library and the antiquated book ordering system.

I love this picture because the British Museum and Library symbolises the arts, the sciences, books and a love of reading and learning. My taste is varied and is a little like an alchemical lab: I like to mix genres and historical periods, the arts and the sciences. Everything is a mystery and I want to know it all. I like that the picture is slightly shady because I’m also drawn to the dark side of life: murder, secrets, the supernatural and the fantastic.

And to clinch it, it is located in the heart of Bloomsbury and as you probably know, I have a weakness for all things literary.

11 Responses to “Picture Perfect”

  1. gaskella Says:

    Lovely photo – it’s an impressive window on the sky.

  2. Melissa Says:

    I love the British Museum. The first time I stuck my head in the reading room I was simply in awe.

  3. winstonsdad Says:

    a wonderful choice and very apt for a avid reader ,all the best stu

  4. Nymeth Says:

    I love the photo, and especially your explanation. I wish I could have seen the library before it moved.

  5. Simon T Says:

    Lovely choice Sakura!

  6. Violet Says:

    Oh, you are so lucky to have been there. Envy! The picture is beautiful.

  7. Eva Says:

    What a great response! I’ll have to try to think of one of my own now. 🙂

  8. Shelley Says:

    A new library can’t be like an old library.

  9. Megan Says:

    I wonder what your explanation for the Vitruvian man would have been in relation to your reading preferences… Care to shed some light?

    • chasing bawa Says:

      Good point! Mine’s a simple reason: the Vitruvian man symbolises science and art, da Vinci was both a scientist and artist, and I think (and hope) my taste in reading is a mixture of both. My academic training is in the sciences but I’ve always been immersed in art and literature and went on to study a hybrid subject (history and philosphy of science). So I’m partial to novels that have some science in it (not just sf).

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