Celebrating the Reading Room

Reading Room Bookshelf

Reading books takes time and commitment in a world full of distraction, but we feel it is an art worth championing. The benefits to our health and psyche are manifold, and there really is nothing quite like the joy of opening a new book.

There can never really be enough books, and in our Reading Room we offer a wide selection of carefully chosen works, in the hope of offering something to suit everyone.

Our books are divided into distinct subject areas and cover everything from walking guides to classic fiction. The space is open and airy, forming a wonderful, calm oasis in which to decompress from the rest of the world and where the books have room to breathe and be appreciated. It has the woody ambience of a study from times past, creaky wooden floorboards, desks fragrant with furniture polish, and crisp fresh paper. Come and dream of foreign climes, be wowed by interiors, salivate at the recipes or simply become lost in the magical world of fiction. Our luxury coffee table books are visual extravaganzas which are rarely found on the internet or in other bookshops. In typical Burford style, we like to find something interesting and a little bit different.

Over the months, we will be regularly highlighting some of the literary gems that we harbour under our roof and hope that you’ll tell us what you think on our social media platforms -an ‘unofficial book club’ of sorts.

The power of the written word cannot be underestimated. It can change the way we think, enlighten and inspire, and offer us a reflection of the world in which we live (or worlds beyond). So, it only seems fitting to begin with a book that celebrates the influence of written text.

Cover to Cover: 100 Books That Changed the World

100 Books That Changed the World by Scott Christianson and Colin Salter covers 100 books curated from the history of the written word. Starting in 2800 BC with I Ching, believed to be the oldest text still in continuous use, this non-fiction book takes a chronological journey through time, distilling important works that have changed or framed society. Homer, Chaucer, Samuel Pepys, Darwin, Einstein, Bronte, Dr Spock, Tolkein, Angelou and Rushdie all feature and the book concludes with Naomi Klein's anti globalisation text, published a week before the 2014 UN Climate Summit, ‘This Changes Everything’.

So often we hear the names of books that we feel we should have read, without really knowing why. This is a great tool for referencing the most important books of all time, urging us to embrace them by informing us about the author’s motivation and more importantly, telling us how and why their books were so defining. 100 Books That Changed the World is written in an engaging and informative style and will be enjoyed by anyone who is interested in literature, history or books in general.

Authors Christianson and Salter admit that out of 100 books, 50 were obvious choices, but the other 50 will probably prompt debate. They hope the guide will help you question your choices or alternatively, provoke you to pick up a book that you may not have previously considered reading.

Next time we’ll be discussing a favourite from our travel section. Author Stephen King once said ‘Books are uniquely portable magic’ so in the meantime, do stop by and find your own special enchantment to take home.