Read The Library Book by Susan Orlean Online

The Library Book

On the morning of April 28, 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 fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than...

Title : The Library Book
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Number of Pages : 318 pages
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The Library Book Reviews

  • Lisa Vegan

    4-1/2 stars

    I really like it, a lot. It was a great book to read as my last book of 2018. For me it wasn’t a “can’t put it down” book and even though that was likely more me than it (I’ve been more in the mood for fiction) I didn’t quite love it, though I have great respect for it.

    The author is an storyteller and a great writer.

    Her story is interesting, and ahe goes more in depth as the account goes on. The main topic is interesting for any library and/or book lover, and there are actually many
    ...more

  • Cindy Burnett

    The Library Book is a must read for every book lover. Susan Orleans chronicles the April 28, 1986 fire at the main branch of the Los Angeles Library which destroyed over 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. The cause of the fire has never been determined, and she extensively researches how events unfolded that day to attempt to solve the fire’s origins. However, The Library Book covers so much more than just the fire including the history of libraries, the role they play in a community and wh ...more

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    This is absolutely brilliant nonfiction - and a book about books - about libraries! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    In April 1986, there was a large fire in the Los Angeles Public Library; so large, in fact, that over four hundred thousand books were burned completely and seven hundred thousand more were damaged. Initially, the thoughts were that this was arson, yet no one has been convicted, and a mystery still surrounds the act.

    The Library Book accomplishes several things. First, Susan Orlean has researched the hi
    ...more

  • Elyse Walters

    Susan Orlean was speaking with the Los Angeles Times about this book before its release....( I enjoyed listening to her speak on NPR as well).

    When talking about her interest in writing about a big city library this is what Susan said:

    “I could have done that anywhere. I like the idea of doing it in L.A., out of this

    contrarian idea that people don’t associate libraries with L.A., which made it kind of delectable. That said, the 1986 fire ( forgive me), was a spark!

    The reason I find Susan’s comm
    ...more

  • Ron Charles

    The largest library disaster in American history is the furnace at the center of Orlean’s story, which is fueled by regular additions of memoir, biography, history and science. In one particularly sobering chapter, she reminds us, “People have been burning libraries for nearly as long as they’ve been building libraries.” The number of books deliberately consigned to the flames is in the billions. “I sometimes find it hard to believe there are any books left in the world.”

    But amid such gloom is m
    ...more

  • Hannah Greendale

    Wow. ❤ ...more

  • Jenny

    Some of the fondest childhood memories I have were of my Mother taking me to the library. I held my Moms hand as we walked in and as so as I saw my section, I begged to let go of her hand as I nearly ran to grab new books that my parents and I would read together. My Mother’s arms were full of mysteries, best sellers, biographies, cookbooks and of course, my books. I loved seeing my Mom stack the books on the counter and then that sound. The sound of the library clerk stamping the library card w ...more

  • Rose (Traveling Sister)

    Full review on my blog.

    “Writing a book, just like building a library, is an act of sheer defiance. It is a declaration that you believe in the persistence of memory.”

    April 28th, 1986 would not mark the last fire at Los Angeles Central Library, but it was far and away the most devastating. When the seven-hour blaze finally subsided, over a million books had been waterlogged, smoke damaged, or altogether destroyed. While the smoke and flames raged their way through shelves, stacks, and storerooms,
    ...more