How do you go about making a library from scratch?
The creation of the library was a chance to do something special at Another Place. We wanted to reflect our love for the written word and allow our guests somewhere to disappear into a comfortable space.
Importantly, we also wanted to borrow the thoughts and imaginations of great writers to connect our space with our surroundings and the rest of the Lake District. Ultimate Library, specialists in library curation, took up the challenge.
Curating a brand new library
Words: Beatrice PetitBon
Photographs: Luke Hayes
To support the launch of Another Place, The Lake, Ultimate Library was asked to curate a collection that would speak to the hotel’s lakeside location, guests and history.
The hunt for the perfect collection was not dissimilar to spotting birds and other wildlife found in many of the books installed at the Lake. From countless titles out in the wild, 150 have been compiled with input from the Another Place hotel team and the Ultimate Library’s book experts. The collection is regularly resupplied and updated to ensure the most interesting finds are filling the shelves.
The resulting library forms part of an elegant space that is perfect to sit in and quietly enjoy the books and the view.
What will you find on the shelves?
For greater regional context, Alfred Wainwright’s series of pictorial guides to the Lakeland Fells is a must read. These hand-written and hand-drawn guides are a labour of love, for which he later received an MBE. The editions that can be found at Another Place provide a fresh take on the walking guides as these re-printed versions include more than 3,000 revisions.
The Library could not be completed without a collection of poetry from the acclaimed English poets, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Both spent considerable time in the Lake District, even together at times.
Classic and contemporary
For those more inclined to classic literature there are copies of Swallows and Amazons, Jeeves and Wooster and Everyday Drinking. More contemporary titles on the Lake District include Edward St Aubyn’s retelling of King Lear in Dunbar, which is set in the region. General prize winning contemporary literature was also added to the Library. Titles such as, Anne Tyler’s a Spool of Blue Thread, and Terry Hayes’, I am Pilgrim cover everything from family drama to crime thrillers. There is something for everyone, even for the youngsters amongst us!
Several books speak to the natural setting and wildlife of the Lake District. The collection will encourage any novice to try their hand at fishing, mushroom foraging, flower picking, bird watching and swimming. James Rebanks’ A Shepherd’s Tale fuses literature and learning in such a way that the will to learn falconry is just as irresistible as the will to finish the novel.
Food and drink
The food and wine chronicles are not to be ignored; Arabella Boxer’s Book of English Food is a sentimental harkening back to the British style of cooking in the 1920s and 30s. With a collection of recipes, magazine clippings and first-hand accounts, the book gives readers the opportunity to live in another world.
For a more original take on the classic cookbook, James and Kay Salter’s Life is Meals chronicles food comments, wisdoms, experiences and recipes for each day of the year. It’s an incredibly honest but humorous discussion on culinary life.
Quirky titles on the Lake District – I never knew that about the Lake District – and England – Visions of England – were mixed in with books on art and style from Britain. There is a focus on important artists from the region, such as John Ruskin, for which an excellent book on his life and paintings is available to peruse. Recently published titles such as the Landmark Trust’s Landmark and Phaidon’s, 30,000 Years of Art round out the collection to cover the unexpected and the pleasantly surprising.
Like every Ultimate Library collection, the intention is to educate, entertain and inspire readers.