Like all readers, I am addicted to libraries. I love the potential, the smell, the aura of studiousness and learning, the sense of history, the discovery of unexpected treasures – all of it. I used libraries extensively when I was writing “Fatal Forgery”, both for research and as a quiet place to hide away while doing the actual “apply bum to seat and pen to paper” part of the project. (Indeed, it was while reading an old newspaper in a library that I first stumbled across the case at the heart of “Fatal Forgery”.) Off the top of my head, I used the University Library, the Criminology Department library and the Central Library in Cambridge, and the British Library, the Guildhall Library, the London Metropolitan Archives and the library at the John Soane’s Museum in London. (In the last, I found papers actually handwritten by the banker in my book – I almost fainted with excitement. And sadness too – such poignant little notes written in pencil in his prison cell.)
Anyway, as I use libraries so extensively, I thought it only right that I should contribute to them too. I have always given a copy of my non-fiction, work-related books (all to do with money laundering and the prevention thereof) to the Department of Criminology, but this time I thought I would offer one to the University Library as well – and here it is, listed in their catalogue:
Buoyed with success at their not laughing me out of the building, I decided also to approach the “town library” – the Cambridge Central Library. And they too have accepted a copy. It’ll take a few days for them to process it, but I look forward to strolling in, oh so casually, and seeing it on the shelf. Apparently if it’s successful – i.e. they have lots of people reserving it to borrow – they will buy extra copies, so fingers crossed. Of course I could get all of my local friends to reserve it – tee hee!