Volume control: how creating my library brought order in a world of chaos

Lucy Mangan always dreamed of having her own library. One new house and 8,000 books later, it’s become a reality

I suppose it’s this one, then,” said my husband as we stepped into the garden. “It is,” I whispered, a covetous gleam in my eye and lust in my soul. “It is.”

We had looked at every house in Norfolk within our budget. None had been right. This one wasn’t either, but … running along the width of the bottom of the garden was a former cart house that the current owners had made into two rooms, one big – used to put up grandchildren overnight – and one small, used as a study. Plastered walls, a flagstoned floor, three sets of french doors opening on to the garden: it was, clearly, a library in waiting.

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