It may be a strange thing. I'm prepared to accept that getting a reader's ticket for the British Library might not seem to many people to be something worth longing for. But it really is true: since my teenage years I have consistantly wanted to be classed among those who have this arcane piece of plastic in their wallet. In my defence I must say that at the age of fourteen we (my small circle of friends and I) truly did believe that in some musty basement of the BL there might be a copy of The Necronomicon to be found, if only we could get inside. Also, for many of my teenage and indeed student years, becoming a reader at the library was something more of a trial than it is today. New standards in information access and new trends in public collection management mean that today, unless you seem like a serious risk to the collection you are unlikely to be turned away.
So I was, on Monday just gone, able to spend a very happy day in one of the bright, modern reading rooms at the (still relatively) new British Library building next to St Pancras station. I was able at last to see, read and transcribe from books which I stand no chance of ever being able to own and the result may be something of a burgeoning in my publishing schedule over the next few months.