While staying at Auchinleck House my evenings were spent mostly in the Library, enjoying the warmth of a log fire while browsing the rows of handsomely bound spines. Libraries have always held a potent attraction for me, stirred by the prospect of abundant knowledge just waiting to be discovered. It is frequently my favourite room when visiting any country house, being a major component of any self-respecting stately home. These private collections, often maintained and refined by generations of a single family, reveal the tastes and interests of those who once lived there. I find it a sure method of determining anyone’s passions; search through my own shelves and you will immediately learn what varied topics enthuse me.