Sleeping with books

Nicola Abram writes:

Sleeping with Books: My stay at Gladstone’s Library

In residence from 3 – 10 April 2013

 I was delighted to win a scholarship for a residential stay at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, Flintshire, in early April. The luxuries of the beautiful Grade 1 listed building and the serenity of its remarkable library made the week an oasis away from the bustle of university life and my other day-to-day activities. The opportunity to look at my research afresh was a real gift: I was able to focus solely on my PhD thesis for the first time in a busy few months. I’m satisfied to say that I submitted it the same week I returned from my Welsh hideaway. Hooray!


The library itself is generously kept open until 10pm – often I could be found squirreled away under a reading lamp until well after nightfall – but my visit wasn’t all work. Meals shared with staff and other residents at Gladstone’s were times I treasured. These conversations, marking the convergence of individuals’ journeys through this unique environment, were warm, welcoming, surprising and stimulating.

 Sincere thanks to all (housekeeping staff, kitchen staff, reception staff, interns, chaplain, warden…) for making my stay productive, peaceful, and so thoroughly enjoyable!


About Cindy

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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