I'm a member of one of the oldest private libraries in United States, The Mechanics' Institute Library and Chess Club in San Francisco. Besides being a very nice library and an outstanding chess club, it's a terrific place to work and meet with people when I'm in San Francisco.
I just discovered that Sir Tom Stoppard is president of The London Library, founded in 1841 and home to Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, T. S. Eliot, Rebecca West and Isaiah Berlin.
I can't find out how much the London Library charges for membership but, according to the story in the Telegraph, the rise in membership is set at thirteen percent.
Now, I'm obsessed about getting back to London and spending a day at the library. And if you aren't of the same mind, then I suggest you watch the video I've embedded below.