It’s a library. There’re so many books in there. Didn’t get a chance to read them all.
Fascinating place for those interested in history. You can see original documents from around the world, including an original version of the Magna Carta and original prints of Shakespeare. Regular exhibitions highlight their treasures. If you can become a reader you have access to the stacks of one of the great copyright libraries of the world.
This is a big library with a large selection. There's a decent amount of places to sit and read. It was fairly busy the day I was there but surprisingly quiet. I ended up seeing their Shakespeare exhibit. I was hesitant at first because of the price, but it turned out to be really interesting and felt worth the price. There seemed to be a lot of activities and other exhibits happening. Well worth checking out!
You must check out the Patrick Hughes painting that is one floor below. You will be astonished!!
I am a little biased as I basically lived there for a year but it's great! You need a pass to get into the reading rooms but they have a fantastic standing collection that's open to everybody - it includes Milton's commonplace book, handwritten Beatles lyrics, Jane Austen's writing desk, an interesting bit on the Magna Carta, some stunning illuminated manuscripts, etc etc. The cafe is the standard Peyton & Byrne fare that you can find all over London (tasty but pricey; I love the scones with a nice cuppa) and the building is packed full with students and wifi seekers typing away. Right next to the beautiful St Pancras station.
There are more resources in the British Library than in some entire countries, and the millions of books would take a visitor years to look through - if you were allowed to see all of the priceless tomes that are hidden away in the vaults. The library has constant exhibitions (the latest is on the Magna Carta) and there are lots of fascinating pieces to see. Where else are you going to look at original handwritten pieces by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen?
Would I recommend the British Library as a tourist attraction? Not necessarily. I was a Library Science post-graduate major in London, so it had natural appeal to me. I liked it as a place to study and do research. However, I did eat in the restaurant there once and had a wonderful experience. If I remember right, it's not far from Kings Cross Station. So if you're in the area and have time to kill, it's not a bad place to check out.