In my college days,I was a member of the British Council Library.I was reminded of this by a column in Mumbai Mirror which stated that the British Council Library has gone online now.
Back in those day,there was a long waiting list to get membership.I awaited my turn & became a member.I used to go there once a week. I had developed a taste for Agatha Christie's murder mysteries but was never able to get any of her books.This was because ,the Library had a rule that fiction books cannot be reserved.Only non-fiction books were allowed to be reserved.I spotted quite a few biographies of Agatha Christie but all books penned by her were forever in circulation !
But, this allowed me to browse through other books.That's how ,I read plays by Oliver Twist ( The importance of being Earnest),Jerome K Jerome ( Three Men in A boat ) ,etc.I had read an extract of Three Men in boat whilst ,I was at school.My English teacher had told us that the book made delightful reading & I had been wanting to read it ever since.I read the book & loved it.Oliver Twist had great wit was evident from his books & I liked his books as well.I read some more books by him.
I then started looking for Yes Minister by Sir Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn.This was because ,Yes Minister was being shown on the idiot box in those days.I was unable to follow the English spoken in the televised series . Hence, I wanted to read & laugh at my pace, unlike the canned laughter, which accompanies the soaps on television.
I could not locate the book.This continued for some days.Finally,I asked the librarian about the book.She told me that I could reserve it by submitting a note.But I protested," Only non -fiction books are allowed to be reserved." She replied," Yes,this is allowed." I gave a note for the book .I got it after 10 days.Just goes to show that the British Council regards "Yes Minister " as a book based on facts ! I also went on to read "Yes ,Prime Minister " by the same authors .I had to again reserve that book as well.
I have loved both the books & whenever ,I feel,I go through them again & again.My brother has gifted me paperback versions of the books.The satire & sarcasm is irresistible.I have laughs galore whenever I read them.They are modern day classics !
So,whenever, you do get a chance, to read the said books.Just remember, that the books recount the actual events of the Government of Britain.This is what ,I have concluded from the lending rules of the British Council Library.