Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Indulging the nerd within at Bibliothèque Mazarine

The Winter Sales started today and I was trying by all means to avoid any place that would lead to encounters with shoppers. It's crazy out there! I needed to write and was not getting any inspiration in the apartment so headed out to the library.
I must confess, libraries have always been my favourite places to spend time - I am a nerd that way. I grew up in Lesotho and some of my fondest memories are of visits to the National Library. It was not a huge library- although as a child it seemed enormous, but it was well-stocked. Precious hours would be spent here, where I'd lose myself in the worlds of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis and later on Judy Blume. I still get a thrill from being inside a library; the muted sounds, the scholarly seriousness, the books... this visit to the Bibliothèque Mazarine was long overdue.

It's on the left bank on quai de Conti and it is the oldest public library in France. I walked around discretely,  well as discretely as possible, trying to be light on my feet on the squeaky hardwood floors. I did eventually sit down after wondering aimlessly around the reading room- I was beginning to draw too many glances. Not much writing got done, but it was a good morning amongst fellow bibliophiles, students and those just coming in from the cold.

Bibliothèque Mazarine
23 quai de Conti
75006, Paris

It is housed at the Institut National de France

View from the first floor foyer
The Reading Room.  (Photo Courtesy:E-Corpus)


  1. I'm officially jealous. Very jealous! ;) My ideal holiday would be a trip to all the world's great libraries. PS: Not a library, a bookstore, but have you been to Shakespeare and Company?

  2. Yes absolutely! Another one of my favourite places. I know what you mean about the world's libraries...I am a bibliophile, I wonder:what would a great lover of libraries make me?

  3. Oh, you could have great fun with words: liberlust, bibliothecat, librariumaniac. There's an old Anglo-Saxon word "bochord" that means book hoard. I think they all apply! PS: Do yourself a favour and take a quick look at the video I've just posted on my blog. You'll love it. :)