The St Pauls Church English Book Library
Open Saturdays, 10h30 to12h, a year’s subscription is €30.
Curling up somewhere comfortable with good a book can be one of the most restful things in the world. Kindles, tablets and all the other electronic devices have their place, but books are special, more tangible, and have been with us far longer.
The English Library at St Paul’s Church, Monte Carlo is situated in the meeting room under the Church at 22 avenue de Grande Bretagne, started in the 1900’s by Baroness Orczy, originator of the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel. (You can see her bust on the top shelf of the first bookcase as you enter the library.) She and her husband, Mr Barstow spent every winter at their villa in Monte Carlo, and they were very involved with the fundraising and building of St Paul’s Church.
In the beginning, the meeting room or Church Club, as it came to be called, was a place where English maids, valets and chauffeurs working in Monaco, as well as crews from visiting British ships, could get together to play games, dance and enjoy some light refreshments. There was always a selection of English papers and magazines available for the regulars, the Baroness, being an authoress herself, had the idea of providing a few books as well, and so the library was born and became very popular. Despite the library’s century-long history it doesn’t mean that the books are ancient and falling apart. There are some new and old books and but we purchase new books every few times a year, which make up the 4,000 both fiction and nonfiction in the collection including a vast collection with examples of works by well-known authors.
Why not drop in and have a look round, and if you like what you see, become a member. You’ll always get a warm welcome. The yearly subscription with the library costs 30 euros, is open on Saturdays from 10.30am to 12pm and books can be taken out for a three-week period. Normally There is no fine for overdue books, but you are expected pay a contribution towards the replacement of one that is lost or badly damaged. We also sell books
The library is run by volunteers and is non-profit-making. It relies entirely on subscriptions and the sale of donated books. It receives no funding from St Paul’s Church, but does have the use of the premises rent-free. Every year the library maintains the ever-popular and well-attended English book stand at the Ecumenical Kermesse, with all money raised going into the common purse. Lots of Books are donated to the library. With certain second-hand volumes, which are not part of the collection, are for sale all year round. The money earned from the sale of these books is used to buy new editions for the library or to replace well-used favorites’