The Library Book Hardcover – 2 Feb 2012
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A library is not a luxury, it is a necessity (Henry Ward Beecher)
When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser (Keith Richards)
Famous writers on libraries real or imagined, past and future; why libraries matter and to whom.
In aid of The Reading AgencySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have always been well off and able to afford to buy books then maybe you do not realise what it's like to live in a house with no books and no prospect of buying any. I was brought up by parents who enjoyed reading but who didn't own a large collection of books. As a family we visited the library on a regular basis and it was a highlight of my life. I too remember spending happy hours in Armley Public library in Leeds as did Alan Bennet who recalls his childhood and student life in and around Leeds in his contribution to this book. I too spent a great deal of time in Leeds City Reference Library - often reading about King Richard III, when I should have been writing essays on other subjects entirely.
I agree with Seth Godin `the scarce resource is knowledge and insight, not access to data'. He makes a powerful case for librarians to be regarded as guides and gatekeepers providing information and insight not just acting as forbidding custodians to the resources of their libraries. Books can change lives as demonstrated by Stephen Fry when as a boy of thirteen he read about the trials of Oscar Wilde. Books can inspire people to make huge changes in their lives and they can inspire children to gain qualifications even though their parents may not encourage them.Read more ›
Except it isn't.
These pieces are all written by people with a genuine passion for libraries and fond memories associated with these havens of books.
If you need convincing further, read the list of contributors. From Britain's National Treasure Stephen Fry to the Grand Dame of Thriller Writing, Val McDermid to Manic Street Preachers' Lyricist Nicky Wire - every single one writing about their love of a library.
Read it, enjoy it and share the library-love!
In my own life I have worked in libraries, educational rather than local, but I know they are cherished places. They are where I took my own children as toddlers for their first experience of storytime and baby rhyme time sessions. Places I myself studied in, before helping students myself as a librarian. I am a mother, a reading mentor and an obsessive reader. There is a lot to be said not only for keeping libraries open, but for keeping them local. In my own area, we are seeing the closure of small, local libraries and the opening of central libraries. However, Zadie Smith makes the essential point that, "I know I would never have seen a single university library if I had not grown up living a hundred yards from that library in Willesden Green. Local libraries are gateways not only to other libraries, but to other lives." Central libraries require travel and for those children whose parents are not willing or able to make the effort, for the elderly, the ill and the marginalised, local services need to remain just that - within walking distance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought The Library Book was great. I enjoyed all of the little anecdotes about people’s experiences of how libraries played an important role in their lives. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Pamela Scott
This collection of twenty-three essays and short stories celebrates the influence and importance of libraries. Read morePublished on 14 May 2014 by John M. Ford
This is OK - and it IS a good cause - but it's slight bordering on the exiguous. Since you're here (have you come far? Read morePublished on 20 May 2013 by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'
This is a book published by the reading agency, as an eulogy to the institution that is the public library system. Read morePublished on 30 April 2013 by Half Man, Half Book
Book lovers should be encouraged by this great book to get out and campaign to keep libraries as living vibrant places in our communities.Published on 17 Dec. 2012 by Tweedledum