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.