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Libraries - or the Lack of Them

When I was in Ireland, I was a member of several public libraries.  There was the local Dublin Corporation library, which was excellent.  There was another Dublin Corporation Library, the Dublin Central Library.  That was fantastic.  I used to avail of their computer and language learning facilities.Those two libraries were a gift from heaven for a booklover like me.

I found a very nice library when I arrived in Lucknow.  In the city centre of Lucknow (Hazratganj) in a building from the British times, the Mayfair Building, I found the British Library.  I became a member of that library and went in there as often as I could.  After I gave birth to my first child, going to the library was nearly impossible.  Then to my horror, the British Library closed down.  Not only I, but book lovers all over Lucknow were deprived.  But then, why should the British Embassy pay for our library?  British libraries were available in metropolitan cities like Delhi etc. but it gave the people of Lucknow a bit of a let-down when the British library was lost to us.

Now, many years later, I'm starting to look around.  I believe there is a decent English library somewhere in the city centre and I am determined to find it. Obviously, English libraries are what I need.   There are also very good bookshops in Lucknow.  We're quite fortunate that way.  A few years ago, when I was purchasing schoolbooks for my children, I came across a bookshop called 'The British Book Depot' in Hazratganj, where you can borrow books like in a library for a small fee.  At that time I was unable to get the time to travel in and out but it is nice to know that the service is available, even if it is a bit far away.

But for now, I have a nice 'TBR pile' of books.  (TBR - to be read).  When you don't have access to libraries, you need that.

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