London Library Discovers Books Annotated by Bram Stoker

By November 10, 2018Authors, Libraries, News

If there’s one thing librarians would appreciate you not do when you borrow a book, it’s start scribbling in it, and yet the London Library in Mayfair is very pleased to have found a number of books that have been annotated by their reader. Who is this rapscallion who dare deface a borrowed book? None other than the author of Dracula, Bram Stoker.

As Londonist reports, 28 books have been discovered during a research effort lead by Paul Spedding. They were seemingly used by Stoker as he researched his now classic book Dracula in 1897. Stoker was a businessman living in Chelsea at the time and and joined the library in 1890 at the proposal of Hall Caine, whom Stoker dedicated Dracula to. The gothic horror novel may now be considered a classic, but it seems Stoker wasn’t highly praised for his writing prior to Dracula’s publication. “Stoker was a dreadful writer. His other stuff is dreadful,” said Spedding.




One of the books Stoker borrowed include The Book of Werewolves by Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, which is full of pencil marks and annotations which closely follow parts of Dracula. Stoker often marked passages relating to life and death and next to one line that states the human instinct is to “extinguish life”, Stoker has written, and then scribbled out, “Bosh!” Spedding went on to say that the research would’ve been easier had Stoker’s handwriting not been so awful.

Though Dracula is set in Transylvania, Stoker never actually visited and instead used contemporary sources to research the place. Interestingly, in a copy of An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia by William Wilkinson, Stoker has folded the corner of the page where the name Dracula is used.

Dracula may be the most iconic novel involving the vampire, but Stoker was far from the only writer in the genre. Spedding stated he believes Dracula owes its success to the fact it’s endlessly reinterpret-able from generation to generation. “Hotel Transylvania 3 came out this year. It did $500m business,” said Spedding.

The researchers can’t be totally sure the notes were written by Stoker, given that the library didn’t keep borrowing records then, but it is worth noting that, in 1897, Stoker wrote to his bankers to tell them to stop paying his fee to the London Library. This is the same date Dracula was published and so it seems his research was complete.

Montreal Libraries Introduce Bicycle Desks

By | Libraries, News | No Comments
For some, the idea of sitting still for long periods of time with a good book is hard to beat, but for others, particularly children, it can be extremely difficult to remain still and concentrated on their book of choice. Fidget Spinners recently became popular with those who need some stimulation whilst focusing, and now libraries in Montreal, Canada are introducing bicycle desks. Read More

The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries… According to Instagram

By | Libraries | No Comments
We love everything bookish, and that includes libraries and bookstores too. We’ll happily spend all day trawling the Internet for beautiful libraries and bookish places.

Last week we were contacted by Wordery who have put together an infographic of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the world, all found by collating Instagram hashtags. From their information, they have created a list of the 25 most beautiful libraries in the world.

Scroll down to see the full list, and click around the infographic to get all the information within. It’s a fascinating list and will surely inspire some literary wanderlust in you! Many thanks to Wordery for sharing with us, and allowing us to share this fantastic infographic with you. Read More

London Library Discovers Books Annotated by Bram Stoker

By | Authors, Libraries, News | No Comments
If there’s one thing librarians would appreciate you not do when you borrow a book, it’s start scribbling in it, and yet the London Library in Mayfair is very pleased to have found a number of books that have been annotated by their reader. Who is this rapscallion who dare deface a borrowed book? None other than the author of Dracula, Bram Stoker.

As Londonist reports, 28 books have been discovered during a research effort lead by Paul Spedding. They were seemingly used by Stoker as he researched his now classic book Dracula in 1897. Stoker was a businessman living in Chelsea at the time and and joined the library in 1890 at the proposal of Hall Caine, whom Stoker dedicated Dracula to. The gothic horror novel may now be considered a classic, but it seems Stoker wasn’t highly praised for his writing prior to Dracula’s publication. “Stoker was a dreadful writer. His other stuff is dreadful,” said Spedding. Read More

Take a Look at Calgary’s Newly Opened $245 Million Dollar Library

By | Libraries, News | No Comments
Calgary’s long-awaited new public library opened yesterday on November 1, and it’s safe to say its already a hit among residents. The $245 million dollar library features 240,000 square feet, impressive architecture, four floors, and 450,000 new books.

CEO of Calgary Public Library, Bill Ptacek, said: “It really is quite spectacular — a cultural hub of learning and innovation. It will be the experiences that people have in this space that will determine if they keep coming back … we want that to include elements of discovery, mystery and wonder.

“And every floor has that, multiple ranges of experiences that speak to different people in different ways.”

Read More

Strange questions people asked the librarian

By | Libraries, Reading Habits | No Comments
Librarians are quiet heroes, guardians of the books, and underrated alternative to a search engine. They used to be our one stop for all our general knowledge needs however Google (other search engines are apparently available…) have slowly but surely taken that responsibility away from the libraries.

Librarians used to deal with all the strange, creepy, interesting, and outrageous questions the general public had to ask- and you will not believe some of the stuff people are willing to ask a stranger.

Read More

Library Petition Exceeds 25,000 Signatures After Rowling Support

By | Libraries, News | No Comments
J. K Rowling’s support for a petition fighting to protect libraries in the UK by assuring government funding has helped garner another 15,000 signatures in just over a week.

Many prominent authors such as Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Malorie Blackman and Joanne Harris have added their names to the petition, which aims to ringfence government funding to assure libraries stay open. Rowling retweeted the petition last weekend, but the petition needs more signatures if it’s to make a difference.
Read More



Leave a Reply