The Library Book - Susan Orlean

The Library Book - Susan Orlean

It's been soooo long since I have read a book that was any good. The wait was completely worth it. 


If you love reading, you need to read this book. It is so much more than just an in-depth look at the Los Angeles Public Library fire of 1986. It is a emotional, uplifting, and deep look at the role libraries play in our society. It goes beyond America. It looks at the impact of libraries on a global scale.


Once you get into it, the library fire is actually a very small part of the story. The Los Angeles Public Library is the star of this story. The supporting cast is a wide variety of people from all walks of life. By the end of this book. I found myself wanting to go the Los Angeles just to see if I could meet some of these people at the library. 


My husband was more than annoyed with me by the end of this book. I was constantly sticking my head of spouting random facts about fires and fire fighters. At one point, before I even said anything, he put his hand up "I use to be a fire fighter. I know!" Ok but did you know........There was just so much I wanted to share. And if you think he was annoyed with the fire facts, it was nothing compared to the look on his face when he watched my cry through all of chapter 9.


I could go on and on about this book. Or you could just read it yourself. It's just one of those books I feel like you need to read to understand how wonderful it really is. 


I can say all kinds of things that might convince you. Instead I want to share a passage:

"My mother imbued me with a love of libraries. The reason why I finally embraced this book project- wanted, and then needed, to write it- was my realization that I was losing her. I found myself wondering whether a shared memory can exist if one of the people sharing it no longer remembers it. Is the circuit broken, the memory darkened?"


And maybe one more-

"The idea of being forgotten is terrifying. I fear not just that I, personally, will be forgotten, but that we are all doomed to being forgotten- that the sum of life is ultimately nothing; that we experience joy and disappointment and aches and delights and loss, make our little mark on the world, and then we vanish, and the mark is erased, and it is as if we never existed." 


Seriously. Read this book. It is the best book I've read all year.