Hands up, who has a problem with buying books? By that I don’t mean a fundamental objection to the activity, but rather a compulsion to own all the books you’ve ever read, or might want to read?

Despite being both a librarian and a huge fan of public libraries, I have to confess to being a serious book-buying addict. The lure of Amazon is simply too strong to resist, and being a member of two book groups (including the Centre’s very own History of Science one) only makes matters worse.

Does this sound familiar? If so, may I whet your appetite for further purchases with details of some recent additions to the book collection here at the Royal Society. The titles longlisted for the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science books are, as always, a thought-provoking and well-written selection of contemporary science writing – I’ve only managed to read one of them so far and can’t wait to get started on the rest.

Selected by a panel which includes both literary and scientific experts, the books cover topics ranging from global warming to medieval philosophy via Einstein and Darwin. The winner won’t be announced until 21st October, so there’s still time to have a look at them and see if your choice agrees with the final selection (and to make things a little easier you could always start with the shortlist!).

If you prefer to borrow books rather than buying them, I’m sure your local library will happily get them in for you (if they haven’t got them on the shelves already, of course). Registered readers of the Royal Society’s library can borrow them here too, as well as all the titles from previous years of the prize. Why not see our information page for more details about joining, and come in and get your reader card at the first available opportunity!

Photograph of bookshelves

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