Susan Orlean

The Library Book

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    Pavel Groznyhas quoted4 years ago
    By 2009, more than 1.5 million people in the United States met the federal definition of homeless—anyone without a “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” Los Angeles has more homeless people than almost any other city except New York: At last count, in 2017, there were almost sixty thousand homeless people in Los Angeles.
    Pavel Groznyhas quoted4 years ago
    I decided to burn a book, because I wanted to see and feel what Harry would have seen and felt that day if he had been at the library, if he had started the fire.
    Pavel Groznyhas quoted4 years ago
    It housed the largest collection of books on food and cooking in the country—twelve thousand volumes, which included three hundred on French cuisine, thirty on cooking with oranges and lemons, and six guides to cooking with insects, including the classic Butterflies in My Stomach.
    Pavel Groznyhas quoted4 years ago
    The biggest library fire in American history had been upstaged by the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. The books burned while most of us were waiting to see if we were about to witness the end of the world.
    Oscar Angelhas quotedlast month
    The library is an easy place to be when you have no place you need to go and a desire to be invisible.
    Oscar Angelhas quotedlast month
    A book feels like a thing alive in this moment, and also alive on a continuum, from the moment the thoughts about it first percolated in the writer’s mind to the moment it sprang off the printing press—a lifeline that continues as someone sits with it and marvels over it, and it continues on, time after time after time.
    Oscar Angelhas quoted2 months ago
    By this point it had burned through most of its fuel. The books in the northeast stacks were crumbles, ashes, powder, and charred pages heaped a foot deep. The last flags of fire fluttered, seethed, settled, and finally died. It had required 1,400 tanks of air; 13,440 square feet of salvage covers; two acres of plastic sheeting; ninety bales of sawdust; more than three million gallons of water; and the majority of the city of Los Angeles’s firefighting personnel and equipment, but the library fire was at last declared extinguished, “a knockdown,” at six thirty P.M. on April 29, 1986. It had raged for seven hours and thirty-eight minutes.
    b6280311119has quotedlast year
    Memory believes before knowing remembers.

    —William Faulkner, Light in August
    Nicolas Palacioshas quoted2 years ago
    A library is a good place to soften solitude; a place where you feel part of a conversation that has gone on for hundreds and hundreds of years even when you’re all alone.
    Nicolas Palacioshas quoted2 years ago
    Los Angeles seemed to always be moving toward the eternal future; it was a city that shed memories before they had a chance to stick.
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