Blackheath Library was closed today. This seems to be its default state whenever I try to go there. However, if you can remember when it is open (not Mondays, Wednesdays or Sundays), it can be much more use than its small size might suggest:
I recently became interested in a book called “The Death of Grass” by John Christopher. It is out of print, and was recommended on a literary blog called The Age of Uncertainty. I looked on abebooks
, as this is usually the best place to find obscure books cheaply. They wanted £20 for a paperback, or £60 for the hardback version!
So then I went to the Lewisham Library page, and looked up the book using their online catalogue search. My book appeared! I reserved it online, and a few days later I received a note through the post (how quaint) saying that it was ready for collection – all for the princely sum of 50p! So Blackheath’s library is bigger than it may appear. It’s a great book incidentally – about the world’s food supplies being wiped out by a virus that attacks all forms of grass (an online version is here).
Two other bookish parts of Blackheath are worth a mention – “The Bookshop on the Heath“, a wonderful place to browse, full of treasures, including a 1920s illustrated edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (for some huge price)… They also have a good selection of paperbacks outside too, as well as local antique maps which I have covered before.
The other one is the slightly hidden Oxfam shop at the top of Tranquil Vale. The upper floor of this shop is entirely dedicated to second-hand books.
I always forget when the library is open – here are the opening times, as of 4th July 2008
Monday 10am to 7pm
Tuesday 9.30am to 5.30pm
Thursday 9.30am to 7pm
Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday 9.30am to 5pm