Book-worms in Blackheath

Blackheath LibraryBlackheath 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:

The Death of Grass by John ChristopherI 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).

The Bookshop on the Green in BlackheathTwo 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.

Oxfam shop in BlackheathThe 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
9.30am to 5.30pm
Wednesday    CLOSED
Thursday       9.30am to 7pm
Friday             9.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday        9.30am to 5pm


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6 responses to “Book-worms in Blackheath

  1. CC

    The new library in Eltham just off of the high street is brilliant. It has excellent openining hours and combines books with fitness (in other words there’s a nice big public pool!).

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  6. HoLeeKao

    Just wanted to mention that Death of Grass was dramatised by the BBC on the Woman’s Hour Drama in March 09. The five parts were uploaded to Usenet in the newsgroup in March of 09. I listened to it recently, and thought it was superb.

    If your newsgroup service — or your friend’s newsgroup service ;-) — retains headers that old, you may still be able to obtain the mp3 recordings. If not, you can request it be reuploaded, and some kind soul may possibly grant your wish.

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