Reading is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whilst you certainly won’t be short of things to do or sights to see during your visit to London, sometimes all you want to do is settle down with a book by one of your favourite authors and enjoy a good read.
It’s easy to see why many consider London to be one of the world’s literary capitals. Our gleaming central city has been the birthplace of some of history’s most famous writers, including George Orwell, Virginia Woolf and TS Eliot to name but a few. If you want to read their masterpieces without picking up a copy at the hundreds of bookstores in London, then why not visit one of the multiple libraries near your room at the Hyde Park Hotel?
14 St James’s Square, St. James’s
Located within a short journey of our Paddington Court Suites is one of the greatest and oldest institutions in London: London Library. This massive library was first founded over 170 years ago way back in 1841 and is now home to more than a million books stored on 17 miles of open-access shelves.
As you’d expect with such a legendary library, the books you’ll find here date back centuries. Works from as far back as the 16th century written on parchment are housed at the London Library, as well as the most modern releases and classics available in both electronic and paper formats. Membership of the London Library is free to anyone and, due to the library stocking works in over 50 different languages, you’ll be sure to find a book you love if you’re visiting our capital from overseas.
Charing Cross Library
4-6 Charing Cross Road
This fantastic little library can be found by taking a short south-easterly stroll from your Hyde Park Hotel room. As well as stocking a plethora of books on its two floors, the most defining aspect of this library is its huge collection of works written in Chinese. You’ll find books from an enormous range of Chinese authors spanning a number of different eras, as well as some attractively illustrated manga comics that have become a style of choice for many Westerners over the years. Another handy feature of this library is the fact that they stock their newest additions by the entrance so you can have a quick browse when you walk in.
96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross
If anything can rival the size and stature of London Library, then it’s the British Library. First established in 1973, this gargantuan building is the largest library in the world by number of items catalogued, with over 150 million different pieces housed.
You’ll find written works that chart the timeline of the history of the world here, with ancient Egyptian Sanskrit texts, the legendary Magna Carta and the very latest releases from writers from around the world available for you to enjoy in all their glory. There’s a stunning Harry Potter exhibition too with interesting annotated drafts from J.K Rowling herself, and once you’ve found a book you like from the millions on offer, you can start reading at the in-house café or restaurant.