I went to renew my reader’s ticket at the British Library today and realised that I have never actually used the new British Library, but am a veteran of the old Round Reading Room where I sat, but not every day, at S6 or thereabouts, until I discovered that the atmosphere was quieter and more rarefied in the North Library, where one had access to rare books. Luckily, my name was still logged on the system, except my birth date was recorded as 12th. December 1900. I understood why the lady at the desk looked at me a touch sceptically. It’s quite nice to be back in the special quiet of a library reading room, undisturbed by anything except the sound of distant coughs.