Stoller’s Départ/Tour de British Library

by Douglas Cowie on 30 June 2014


Thursday and Friday I’ll be cycling 200 miles with a team of British Library employees, delivering a book I wrote with photographer and cycling buddy Matthew Shaw up to the British Library’s site in Boston Spa, Yorkshire.  The book, Stoller’s Départ, was commissioned to celebrate the Yorkshire Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014, and celebrates both cycling and the British Library. We’ll be delivering the book (god knows how sweaty it’ll get) the day before the Tour takes off in nearby Leeds.

The book tells the story of Stoller, who arrives at the British Museum to use the reading room, not realizing that the famous reading room isn’t open for use any longer (it hasn’t been since 1997).  He gets directions to the British Library, but sets off the wrong way, embarking on a journey around London.  To create the book, Matthew and I cycled an unplanned and meandering route from the British Museum to the British Library, stopping to take photographs at various places along the way.  I then structured a short story based on the photographs. The book was designed by Kate Bates of the British Library Design Office, and alternates photographs and text.

Matthew has blogged about the ride and book for the British Library’s Team Americas blog, and you can read his post here.

The book costs £5 and is available from the British Library Shop, and presumably elsewhere, if you want to order it.

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