Selfridges checks it out

Between the delights of the Food Hall, the glories of the designer fashion floor and all the finishing touches in Beauty, Selfridges already resembles a small village. So it’s strangely fitting that the latest service to open in the bustling shopping emporium is a library.

The Selfridges Library, opening today in the London store’s Ultralounge exhibition space, contains 15,000 books ripe for the browsing. Project organisers asked publishers to nominate only their most inspiring titles for inclusion, leading to a selection covering biographies, fairy tales, photo-books and more.

‘The Selfridges Library has been created to provide people with the most enjoyable and exciting reading environment possible,’ Selfridges Head of Creative Linda Hewson told ELLE.

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‘Reading is such a rewarding way to learn but also escape, and we felt that in the face of library closures and falling literacy standards, it was worth celebrating the inspirational power of words—from books and literature to speeches that changed the world.’

Included in the repertoire are some noteworthy personalities’ Desert Island Books. Olivia Palermo, Thandie Newton, Rankin and others share their most meaningful tomes. And organisers have extended the focus on the written word to incorporate workshops (on handwriting analysis and book-making), lessons (on grammar, Greek philosophy and Latin) and story-telling events.

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More a reading room than a lending library, the books aren’t available to borrow due to the project’s seven-week run. The nearby Words Words Words Shop contains a collection of word- and letter-themed products visitors can take home, including Scrabble tile necklaces and whimsical Rifle Paper Co. notecards.

Anyone for a lecture on the history of love letters? Look it up, and we might just see you there...

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