The Bookshop On The Corner – by Jenny Colgan (2016)

I love a good story about books and libraries, and this book did not disappoint. The main character, Nina, has just found out that the small library she has worked at for many years is being closed, and its collection is being merged into a larger library. Unfortunately, only a few positions from the branch library will carry over to the large library. Nina finds herself competing with younger librarians who are more in sync with the direction of modern libraries. Her longtime co-worker Griffin commiserates with Nina:

“Have you seen the plans? Coffee, computers, DVDs, plants, admin offices, and people doing cost-benefit analysis and harassing the unemployed – sorry, running mindfulness workshops. There isn’t room for a book in the whole damn place.” He gestured at the dozens of boxes. “This will be landfill. They’ll use it to make roads.” (excerpt from page 5)

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The Library Book – by Susan Orlean (2018)

Had I written this book, the title would have been:
“The Life, Death, And Re-birth Of An Urban Library”

The story begins with a description of Harry Peak, the man charged with setting the Los Angeles Central Library on fire back in 1986. The building was set ablaze on April 29, resulting in 400,000 books being incinerated, and 700,000 other being damaged, as well as the destruction of much of the building. The cost of the disaster was $22 million, the worst of any library fires in the history of the United States. Oddly, it was barely reported in the news. The headlines were consumed with the Chernobyl nuclear plant melt-down that had occurred three days previous.

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