What die-hard book lover doesn't like books about books, or books about the places they are stored, or the sometimes fascinating lives of some of the people through history who championed for books to be available to the common person through libraries?
The main focus of "The Library Book" was LA's Central Library, its history, the people who have been its librarians, and the fire that almost destroyed it, but also so much more. It shared information about books, libraries and their caretakers through history, its patrons (some were hilarious!) as well as exploring the crime (or was it?) that almost wiped out one of the largest libraries in our country. It looked at the man accused of his arson, and why there are still questions regarding the nature of the fire. The books was chock full of interesting tidbits and I know I exasperated members of my family, every day, having to read the next bit I felt so interesting I could not keep it to myself. I could all most feel, as I approached, them sending up furtive prayers "Please don't let her talk more about that book". : )
Each chapter started with a list of 4 or five books that somehow pertained to that chapter, and those list were thought provoking themselves, and contains an extensive bibliography at the end.
But it was also a book more personal for the author as well as she felt an abiding love for libraries since her youth and the memories shared with her mother growing up, during their weekly visits there leaving with stacks of books, and her mom always saying that if she could have chosen any profession, it would have been a librarian.
When I saw that Susan Orlean had written this, I got so excited because I had loved "The Orchard Thief" and just had to get this-- and I was not disappointed. I love everything about it-- not just the topic, or the way the story was told, but also the way it looks, the way it feels-- even the end papers inside the front and back cover were nice.