The Library Book by Susan Orlean

This is a book about the Los Angeles Public Library, borrowed from a Miami-Dade Public Library.

[a nationwide drive to gather books for army reading rooms, military hospitals, and training camps.]

By March 1942, the Victory Book Campaign had amassed more than six million books and had begun distributing them to troops across the country and overseas – at the exact moment when the libraries of Europe were burning. That year, President Roosevelt gave the keynote at the American Library Association’s convention. “Books cannot be killed by fire,” he declared. “People die, but books never die.”

I definitely recommend this book. However, I feel like this is one of those times where I don’t actually recommend it to everyone because I think that unless the subject interests you, it’s not going to turn out to be one of your favorite books. Because I clearly enjoy books (just look as this blog,) and I enjoy libraries (just refer to some posts ago where I wrote a little guide to the Miami-Dade Public Library system,) I was very entertained by it and I learned a lot.

Musical scores are expensive. They cost anywhere from three hundred to nine hundred dollars per score, and each musician in an orchestra needs his or her own. Los Angeles has more working musicians than any city in the United States. It also has one of the few libraries in the country that loans out musical scores.

Orlean mixes the mystery of the fire of Los Angeles Central Library in 1986 with the history of the library extremely well. You can tell how passionate she is about the subject which gives the book extra character. I also thought it was very creative of her to list interesting book titles before each chapter. She inspired me to pay attention to book titles at the library too…You Suck at Cooking; How to Set His Thighs on Fire; HawaiiDiet.

P.S. I thought it a fun idea to mention that at the library today this guy was looking up images of Elizabeth Warren on the computer and I have no idea what he was planning on using them for.

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