Selfridges is opening its own 15,000-book library.
At a time when many libraries around Britain are under threat, the department store has opened its own pop-up branch for the next seven weeks.
It will run for the duration of the store-wide Words Words Words event, which is a celebration of the printed word. Four publishers – Penguin, Taschen, Faber and Thames And Hudson – have worked with the Oxford Street shop to curate the section, which is located in its basement Ultralounge area.
Although the temporary nature of the library means visitors will be unable to take the books away, they can use the 3,500 sq ft space as a reading room and as a bookstore.
They can also listen to audio books at listening posts, and read works on iPads. Celebrities including Miranda Hart, Thandie Newton and Sophie Dahl have also given visitors an insight into their own favourite reading matter.
Hart’s desert island choices included The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – a popular book among many of the celebs who took part – and Thomas Hardy’s Mayor Of Casterbridge. Dahl chose books by Rumer Godden, Graham Greene and Astrid Lindgren among her top 10, but did not mention her novelist grandfather Roald.
The Words Words Words event – which opens tomorrow – will also include story-telling, grammar lessons and lectures, as well as short courses in Latin and Greek philosophy.