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Library Book
Library Book | Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean, hailed as a "national treasure" by The Washington Post and the acclaimed bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief, reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution--our libraries. On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, "Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie." The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Investigators descended on the scene, but over thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library--and if so, who? Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story as only she can. With her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering an engaging cast of employees and patrons and experiencing alongside them the victories and struggles they face in today's climate. She also delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from a metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity. She reflects on her childhood experiences in libraries; studies arson and the long history of library fires; attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and she re-examines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she reveals how these buildings provide much more than just books--and that they are needed now more than ever. Filled with heart, passion, and unforgettable characters, The Library Book is classic Susan Orlean, and an homage to a beloved institution that remains a vital part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country and culture.
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perfectsinner
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Bored with How to Win Friends... So giving this a go

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Addison_Reads
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book. Orlean gives a detailed history on the LA library system and she also gives you background on the fire. Amongst all the facts though, she reminds the reader of all the many wonderful reasons we love the library. 💚

Last #NFNov book, bringing my total to 18 read. 🎉

#TIL Ray Bradbury rented a typewriter and finished Farenheit 451 at the library.

@rsteve388 @Clwojick

Scochrane26 I really liked this book, too. 2w
Clwojick 9 pt. 2w
26 likes2 comments
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Smackincohen
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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“By then, the city was a throbbing, thriving place, growing so fast it erased and rewrote itself by the minute.” p. 300 The Library Book, Susan Orlean

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mrsmarch
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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@Sward7 This will be en route to you this week!

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BarbaraJean
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

I so enjoyed this journey through the history of the Los Angeles Public Library. It‘s partly a history of the library itself, partly an account of the 1986 library fire that destroyed 400,000 volumes and countless other resources from the library‘s collection, and partly digression after bookish digression on libraries and their history & impact on society. I loved all the digressions, and I can‘t wait to go visit the LA Public Library for myself.

TheBookHippie I was here in April did all the tours and explored it myself ..it‘s so cool! 4w
BarbaraJean @TheBookHippie That‘s awesome! I live ~20 miles away—can‘t believe I‘ve never been (and knew so little about its history)! Will be rectifying this omission soon. 😊 4w
TheBookHippie @BarbaraJean I took more than one tour-each guide tells different stories!! and I had a lengthy talk in the languages department librarian and the teen librarian ..so good. 4w
mrp27 Great place to see! Glad I finally went and got my library card. Worth the drive. 4w
50 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Reviewsbylola
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

This was an interesting one. Part true crime, part history of LA‘s main library, and part sociological history of libraries in general. I loved the little tidbits, like the fact that the main Overdrive office has a huge interactive map on their lobby wall that shows in real time the books people are checking out from OD and from where.

8little_paws OMG that map! that sounds amazing. 1mo
Lauram Wow! I live 20 minutes away from the Overdrive main office. I‘m going to visit ASAP. 1mo
Megabooks I still can‘t believe how much NF you‘re reading!! 😱😱 I really enjoyed this book too! 1mo
Reviewsbylola Believe it or not, when I was younger NF was my preferred genre! It still is when it comes to audio or ebooks. I just cannot get onboard with fiction in those formats for some reason. But I would say these days almost all of my NF is memoir or true crime. I love narrative NF but otherwise it can feel dry to me. @Megabooks 1mo
92 likes4 comments
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Mitch
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Trip to Norwich today - it was raining heavy so I took shelter on the library - of course! Evidently this is England‘s busiest Library in terms of footfall and borrowing figures.

Bookzombie It looks like a really nice library! 1mo
Hooked_on_books It‘s beautiful! 1mo
77 likes2 comments
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CoffeeCatsBooks
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

Wow! ❤️

This was a great blend of history of the library and true crime. The description of the Los Angeles Central Library fire was heartbreaking.😭

Susan Orlean‘s childhood memories of the library reflected my own experiences visiting the library with my mom so that was especially touching for me. As for the history, I was surprised to learn how political a position head librarian was. Highly recommend.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

#NFNov

Clwojick 6 pt. 1mo
66 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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CoffeeCatsBooks
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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#TIY Well, another shameful fact about how Native Americans were treated. “Slavery was permitted under an 1850 California law that allowed white people to buy Native American children as “apprentices,” and to “bid” on Native American children who were declared “vagrant” and oblige them to work off the bid.” It wasn‘t repealed entirely until 1937! 😱

#NFNov

rsteve388 Stacked! 1mo
Clwojick 4 pt. 1mo
41 likes1 stack add2 comments
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CoffeeCatsBooks
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Okay, Kitcat may try to steal my snacks, but she is a lovely reading companion. 🐱📚#catsoflitsy

And a Happy Veteran‘s day to all that have served! 💕

Leftcoastzen Awwwww!😻 1mo
UwannaPublishme 😻😻😻 1mo
56 likes2 comments
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CoffeeCatsBooks
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Reading about all the things that have sparked fires in libraries has made me so paranoid that I just got renter‘s insurance (although I actually probably have to worry more about burst pipes in my tenement building. 😱🔥💦

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CoffeeCatsBooks
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I‘m going to go ahead and post this. I didn‘t quite make 24 hours because I took a lovely 3 hour nap today.

I‘m stopping now because I have a bookshelf to put together. I‘ll probably read a bit before I go to bed, but I fall asleep 😴 a lot reading, so before I mess up my timer...Happy reading to everyone else in #Litsypartyof1 #24B4Monday #MrBook1inaMillion

Andrew65 A fantastic time, well done. 🍾🥂🥳👏👏👏😊🙌 Thanks for playing along. 👍 1mo
Zelma I never nap and I took a long one too. It was glorious. 1mo
Crazeedi Naps are worth it!!! 1mo
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CoffeeCatsBooks @zelma @Crazeedi Yay naps! 😂😴 🛌 1mo
CoffeeCatsBooks @Andrew65 Thanks! I‘ve really enjoyed it this weekends‘s readathon! 💕 1mo
Clwojick WOOHOO!!! You did great! 🙌 1mo
44 likes6 comments
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CoffeeCatsBooks
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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My cheese plate for lunch. Continuing to read The Library Book. It has already had me tearing up several times.

#Litsypartyof1 #24B4Monday #Mrbook1inaMillion

Andrew65 😍😍😍 1mo
Leftcoastzen Looks yummy! 1mo
jb72 I read that book earlier this year. The library fire had me tearing up too. I can‘t imagine what it would feel like to stand their and watch all that history go up in flames. 1mo
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CoffeeCatsBooks @jb72 Yes, all that history gone forever. 😭 1mo
MrBook LOVED that book!!! That food look all kind of yum! 😁 1mo
CoffeeCatsBooks @Leftcoastzen It was. It‘s hard to go wrong with cheese! 🧀 1mo
54 likes1 stack add6 comments
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CoffeeCatsBooks
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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“I wanted to have my books around me, forming a totem pole of the narratives I‘d visited.”

I am already loving this book! 💕

EKonrad Loved this one so much! 😊 1mo
CoffeeCatsBooks @EKonrad I am about halfway through it now. It is so good! 1mo
44 likes2 comments
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CoffeeCatsBooks
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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And finally I am starting an actual book from my TBR pile for this #readathon 😂

Also, does it drive anyone else crazy that there is a non-removable “sticker” in the middle of the cover? Ugh, why couldn‘t they print it in one of the corners.

#NFNov #Litsypartyof1 #24B4Monday #MrBook1inaMillion

Andrew65 Yes!!!! 1mo
squirrelbrain Loved this one! ❤️ 1mo
MidnightBookGirl I hate super sticky stickers! We use stickers at the bookstore to let people know that they're signed or staff picks, but they pop right off with no residue (although with matte finishes we just put the stickers on a bookmark that sticks out of the pages). Price stickers especially annoy me. 1mo
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jb72 I hate stickers on my book covers! 1mo
MrBook Loved this one!!! 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1mo
CoffeeCatsBooks @MidnightBookGirl Yes! I had a lovely matte copy of I Capture the Castle marred by a super sticky sticker! 😡 1mo
Clwojick 1 pt 1mo
57 likes7 comments
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BarbaraJean
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Just starting this one (a library book copy of The Library Book!). I hadn‘t noticed the FIC label on the spine when I picked up the copy I had on hold. ⁉️ I see books misclassified in used bookstores all the time, nonfiction shelved as fiction, and vice versa, but how does that happen at a library?! Upon initial processing, wouldn‘t it have to be entered into a catalog, which would have certain details, like the fact that the book is nonfiction?!

SilversReviews It is very interesting. 1mo
34 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Easytiger
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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THANK YOU EVERYONE. Your patience is very appreciated. I scurried off last Thursday and left two of my swaps behind on accident so I haven‘t had the chance to open them until now. I just got back from a spooky holiday to visit my boyfriend.

The candle smell so good. The card is very thoughtful and I love handmade things. I can‘t wait to drink your fav teas, and the book I‘m thrilled to read here soon! Thank you so much #allhallowsreadswap

CandycaneBelle So glad you got it!!! I was worried! Let me know how the book is!! Happy haunting!!! 1mo
Easytiger I am terribly sorry to have cause so much worry, I was on an “unplugged” getaway and left them at home. I love it all and will get back to ya on the book . 1mo
Easytiger That candle smells so good!!!! @CandycaneBelle 1mo
CandycaneBelle Also I was nervous about that because people‘s scent preferences are so different! I didn‘t want to overwhelm you😂😂 1mo
13 likes4 comments
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bookishbitch
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I went to the bookstore just to browse. Resistance was futile.

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Battledoll
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book but if you just want a book about the LA library fire, this is not the book for you. The author adds in a history of the LA library and library system itself, discussions of the purpose and value of libraries in general, and various other tangents. If you don‘t like jumpy books then you‘ll hate this. But I really found it fun and interesting

2 likes1 stack add
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purebugbeauty72
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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My pick for book club this month.

2 likes1 stack add
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MrBook
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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#BookNDinner! #Halloween Edition 🎃👻!

Accompaniment this warm, muggy, wet evening is: angel hair pasta with white clam sauce, ciabatta garlic bread, black olives, and sparkling mineral water. MMMMmmm 😋! This has been another presentation of: #MrBookKitchen. Happy reads & happy eats! 😎👌🏻😙👌🏻

Who wants to join me?! ☺️🤗

Sace I'll have some of those black olives. 1mo
AmyG 🙋🏼‍♀️ 1mo
julesG I'll bring dessert. Which means half an apple crumble and a pint of Ben&Jerry's. 1mo
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Hoopiefoot I love that somebody else makes themselves a bowl of black olives with dinner 😀 1mo
TheSpineView Looks good! 1mo
Mandoul I feel like the world needs a @MrBook cookbook! 1mo
MrBook @Mandoul 😆🙈😋😬 @julesG 😎🙌🏻 @Sace C‘mon over, enticing aren‘t they 😁? @AmyG 😁👏🏻🤗 @Hoopiefoot Aww, heck yeah 😎🙌🏻👌🏻! @TheSpineView Mmmhmm! 1mo
Stacypatrice 🙋🏻‍♀️ 1mo
Lynnsoprano Oh, yummy! Hubby made red clam sauce Tuesday night, one of his specialties. I may have overindulged 🙄 1mo
TheBookAddict That looks delicious! 🤤 1mo
60 likes10 comments
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Gina
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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This hurts my heart. Sending all my best to those in California suffering though this horrible fire...

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-10-30/firefighters-battle-to-save-...

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MrBook
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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#BookNDinner! ‘‘Twas a simple meal this pleasant and overcast night. Accompaniment was: multi-grain Tostito‘s scoop chips, with black olives, Italian salami, pepperoni, cheddar cheeses, parmesan & romano cheeses, and a smattering of spices; and, some white peach-ginger sparkling water. MMMmmm 😋! This has been another presentation of: #MrBookKitchen. Happy reads & happy eats! 😎👌🏻

InBooksILive That looks so good! 1mo
Rachel.Rencher This book has been on my TBR forever 😬 Let me know how it is! 1mo
Bklover That looks delicious!! 1mo
Gina I loved the library history in this book 1mo
JenReadsAlot That looks so good! Book was so good! 1mo
84 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Mitch
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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The Mayor is Austin has good taste in books!

73 likes3 stack adds
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EKonrad
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Uh...this is one of the coolest things that‘s happened to me!!! I‘m obsessed!

Hooked_on_books Wow! 🤩 2mo
37 likes1 comment
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EKonrad
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

Definitely one of my fave books I've read this year!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Full review: erinkonrad.com

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SilversReviews
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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#FALLISBOOKED
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
@OriginalCyn620

Today‘s Prompt: RED COVER

Versions of “RED.”

I have only read THE PARIS ARCHITECT - a FAVORITE!!

Going to read THE LIBRARY BOOK for Simon & Schuster‘s read of the month on their Facebook Page - Book Club Favorites.

@SimonSchuster

OriginalCyn620 Cool photo! ❤️😊 2mo
k.reads.5 Loved The Library Book! 2mo
SilversReviews @k.reads.5 Thanks...try to join in the Simon & Schuster discussion. End of the month. 2mo
61 likes4 comments
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janeycanuck
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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A recent red cover fav - that made me fall in love with libraries all over again.

#fallisbooked

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Readage
The Library Book | Susan Orlean

"We finally made our way to the Fiction Department and stopped near the first row of shelves. Brecher took a break from his commentary and reached for one of the books, cracked it open, held it up to his face, and inhaled deeply. I had never seen someone smell a book quite like that before. Brecher inhaled the book a few more times, then clapped it shut and placed it back on the shelf."

No shame in the deeply meditative act of book-sniffing ??

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Mitch
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Having eaten our body weight in BBQ - went for a lovely walk around the historic centre of Elgin, Texas. Stopped off at the library - of course!

Soubhiville That‘s so pretty! 2mo
88 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Booksnob
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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A love letter to libraries and librarians. Full of information and facts and I found it all very fascinating.

Kitty_Rochsmith Loved it too! 2mo
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Dolly
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

Excellent book that details an extraordinary library fire and a pretty much everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know about libraries such as behind the scenes operation, patrons stories and history. Very well done Susan Orlean.

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Nitpickyabouttrains
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Went on an amazing #LibraryAdventure today with @jmtrivera and @Merethebookgal . We went to three libraries (I got two new library cards). And we may have stopped at a winery along the way.

jmtrivera Best field trip ever! 📚🥂 2mo
Merethebookgal So much fun! 2mo
SW-T Sounds lovely 😊 2mo
24 likes3 comments
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Ddzmini
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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A whole library full of tbr‘s 📚📚📚💁🏼‍♀️

Gissy Nope! That is my motivation! I'm happy reading these posts about my lovely addiction! 2mo
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Ddzmini
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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And it doesn‘t make you feel guilty for taking books out to read, because you have to return them 😝🤣🤣🤣

AmyRebecca Mental candy! Sugar rush for the soul 😋 🍬🍭 2mo
60 likes1 comment
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rather_be_reading
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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So mad im missing this!!!

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Cortg
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

Everything you wanted to learn about libraries, historical and today. This also reminded me of
1. A memoir or biography of The Central Library as if the library were a person.
2. A murder mystery...Who burned down the library?
I enjoyed the people that were interwoven throughout the book. This is definitely an intriguing, eclectic book and I loved it!

37 likes2 stack adds
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Jbakesmcgee3
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Chilling while I wait for my new tires across the street from the iconic Green Mill Lounge

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Readage
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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• Any thoughts on the tagged book? •

#ebook #currentlyreading #OverDrive #digitalreads

tournevis A lot of #littens have loved it. I have not read it personnally. 2mo
Readage @tournevis I'm liking it so far 👍 2mo
tournevis @Readage 👍👍👍 2mo
23 likes3 comments
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Readage
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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• Started the ebook today; already this book feels like a love letter to libraries 😉 We'll see where it takes us... •

#ebook #digitalreads #OverDrive #currentlyreading

22 likes1 stack add
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MrBook
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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😂😂😂👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 #LitsyHumor #LitsyLovesLibraries

vivastory 😂😂 3mo
Kimberlone I have an ebook hold right now that I have a 6 month wait for 😩 3mo
vivastory @Kimberlone That's rough! It might be a daily deal before you get your hold! 3mo
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Kimberlone @vivastory yes I am always keeping an eye open for those! I might also cave and use an audible credit for it... 3mo
Sharpeipup YESSSS! 3mo
Megara 😂😂😂 3mo
Megara I have to share this. This is too good. 😂 3mo
Flaneurette @Kimberlone and with the Macmillan embargo our ebook holds are only going to get worse! check out this link if you haven't heard about it and sign the petition that the ALA has up

https://www.digitaltrends.com/news/macmillan-e-books-library-waiting-period/
(edited) 3mo
DrawingSustenance Omgosh 😯 3mo
102 likes9 comments
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Joanne1
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

As a librarian and total book nerd I found much of this book fascinating. I did feel a little bogged down in some of the history and personalities of the past librarians but it was well worth persevering with.

55 likes2 stack adds
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bernadette
Library Book | Susan Orlean
Pickpick

If you love libraries and hearing about the goings on in public spaces, this is a great read. It focuses mainly on the LA Central Library and it's colorful history but also about the library's evolving place in society.

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therealdealbeall
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I just found out that Overdrive is available on my Kobo! Not sure when that update was made because this is not the model that came with Overdrive access, but I am so happy that I can now check out ebooks and not have to worry about the fines I keep racking up from forgetting to return my physical books. 😳

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keepingupwiththepenguins
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Thursday 19 September is AUSTRALIAN READING HOUR. Booklovers all over the country #TakeTheTime to read for an hour, to themselves, to their family, to their dog, to anyone who will listen. I love this event, and its powerful reminder that reading rejuvenates us, reactivates us, and reeducates us. Literacy saves lives! The only problem is picking a book from my groaning TBR pile... #ReadingHour #ToBeRead #AmReading #GoodReads #MustRead

Texreader That‘s so awesome!!! ❤️ 📚 3mo
Hooked_on_books I love this! 3mo
LeahBergen This is great! 3mo
See All 6 Comments
46 likes6 comments
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Madds
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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“Once words and thoughts are poured to them, books are no longer just paper and ink and glue: They take on a kind of human vitality.”

2 likes1 stack add
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AngieKWilson
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

The first few chapters describing how the books burned and the knowledge, research and the antiques just gone ... her writing is so descriptive and a beautiful tribute to the wealth of knowledge lost that day.

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SW-T
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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🤣🤣🤣

#humor #litsyhumor

Come-read-with-me @sw-t 🤣🤣🤣 That is my kind of Viking! 3mo
SW-T @Come-read-with-me Mine too! 😂 3mo
26 likes2 comments
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UnabridgedPod
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

"The library is a whispering post. You don't need to take a book off a shelf to know there is a voice inside that is waiting to speak to you, and behind that was someone who truly believed that if he or she spoke, someone would listen. It was that affirmation that always amazed me. . . .” (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod All the things that are wrong in the world seem conquered by a library's simple unspoken promise: Here I am, please tell me your story; here is my story, please listen" (309-310). Susan Orlean's The Library Book is a fascinating nonfiction account of the 1986 fire that took out the Central Library of Los Angeles AND an exploration of the history of libraries in Los Angeles as a way into a consideration of the role of libraries more general.(cont.) 3mo
UnabridgedPod I moved between reading and listening on Scribd for this one (Susan Orlean reads her own work), and I enjoyed both formats. This is a book club read for me, and I'm sure we'll have lots to talk about! 3mo
20 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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My view this evening while I enjoy a quiet moment with my book.