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The Library Book
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean, hailed as a national treasure by The Washington Post and the acclaimed bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief, reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institutionour libraries. On the morning of April 29, 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 false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie. The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Investigators descended on the scene, but over thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the libraryand if so, who? Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story as only she can. With her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering an engaging cast of employees and patrons and experiencing alongside them the victories and struggles they face in todays climate. She also delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from a metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity. She reflects on her childhood experiences in libraries; studies arson and the long history of library fires; attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and she re-examines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she reveals how these buildings provide much more than just booksand that they are needed now more than ever. Filled with heart, passion, and unforgettable characters, The Library Book is classic Susan Orlean, and an homage to a beloved institution that remains a vital part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country and culture.
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SilversReviews
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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#FALLISBOOKED
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
@OriginalCyn620

Today‘s Prompt: RED COVER

Versions of “RED.”

I have only read THE PARIS ARCHITECT - a FAVORITE!!

Going to read THE LIBRARY BOOK for Simon & Schuster‘s read of the month on their Facebook Page - Book Club Favorites.

@SimonSchuster

OriginalCyn620 Cool photo! ❤️😊 4d
k.reads.5 Loved The Library Book! 4d
SilversReviews @k.reads.5 Thanks...try to join in the Simon & Schuster discussion. End of the month. 4d
61 likes4 comments
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janeycanuck
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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A recent red cover fav - that made me fall in love with libraries all over again.

#fallisbooked

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Readage
The Library Book | Susan Orlean

"We finally made our way to the Fiction Department and stopped near the first row of shelves. Brecher took a break from his commentary and reached for one of the books, cracked it open, held it up to his face, and inhaled deeply. I had never seen someone smell a book quite like that before. Brecher inhaled the book a few more times, then clapped it shut and placed it back on the shelf."

No shame in the deeply meditative act of book-sniffing ??

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Mitch
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Having eaten our body weight in BBQ - went for a lovely walk around the historic centre of Elgin, Texas. Stopped off at the library - of course!

Soubhiville That‘s so pretty! 5d
87 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Booksnob
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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A love letter to libraries and librarians. Full of information and facts and I found it all very fascinating.

Kitty_Rochsmith Loved it too! 1w
11 likes1 comment
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Dolly
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

Excellent book that details an extraordinary library fire and a pretty much everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know about libraries such as behind the scenes operation, patrons stories and history. Very well done Susan Orlean.

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Nitpickyabouttrains
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Went on an amazing #LibraryAdventure today with @jmtrivera and @Merethebookgal . We went to three libraries (I got two new library cards). And we may have stopped at a winery along the way.

jmtrivera Best field trip ever! 📚🥂 2w
Merethebookgal So much fun! 2w
SW-T Sounds lovely 😊 2w
24 likes3 comments
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Ddzmini
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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A whole library full of tbr‘s 📚📚📚💁🏼‍♀️

Gissy Nope! That is my motivation! I'm happy reading these posts about my lovely addiction! 2w
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Ddzmini
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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And it doesn‘t make you feel guilty for taking books out to read, because you have to return them 😝🤣🤣🤣

AmyRebecca Mental candy! Sugar rush for the soul 😋 🍬🍭 2w
60 likes1 comment
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rather_be_reading
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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So mad im missing this!!!

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Cortg
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

Everything you wanted to learn about libraries, historical and today. This also reminded me of
1. A memoir or biography of The Central Library as if the library were a person.
2. A murder mystery...Who burned down the library?
I enjoyed the people that were interwoven throughout the book. This is definitely an intriguing, eclectic book and I loved it!

37 likes2 stack adds
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Jbakesmcgee3
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Chilling while I wait for my new tires across the street from the iconic Green Mill Lounge

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Readage
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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• Any thoughts on the tagged book? •

#ebook #currentlyreading #OverDrive #digitalreads

tournevis A lot of #littens have loved it. I have not read it personnally. 2w
Readage @tournevis I'm liking it so far 👍 2w
tournevis @Readage 👍👍👍 2w
23 likes3 comments
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Readage
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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• Started the ebook today; already this book feels like a love letter to libraries 😉 We'll see where it takes us... •

#ebook #digitalreads #OverDrive #currentlyreading

22 likes1 stack add
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MrBook
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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😂😂😂👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 #LitsyHumor #LitsyLovesLibraries

vivastory 😂😂 3w
Kimberlone I have an ebook hold right now that I have a 6 month wait for 😩 3w
vivastory @Kimberlone That's rough! It might be a daily deal before you get your hold! 3w
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Kimberlone @vivastory yes I am always keeping an eye open for those! I might also cave and use an audible credit for it... 3w
Sharpeipup YESSSS! 3w
Megara 😂😂😂 3w
Megara I have to share this. This is too good. 😂 3w
Flaneurette @Kimberlone and with the Macmillan embargo our ebook holds are only going to get worse! check out this link if you haven't heard about it and sign the petition that the ALA has up

https://www.digitaltrends.com/news/macmillan-e-books-library-waiting-period/
(edited) 3w
JulietBooks Omgosh 😯 3w
102 likes9 comments
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Joanne1
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

As a librarian and total book nerd I found much of this book fascinating. I did feel a little bogged down in some of the history and personalities of the past librarians but it was well worth persevering with.

54 likes2 stack adds
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bernadette
Library Book | Susan Orlean
Pickpick

If you love libraries and hearing about the goings on in public spaces, this is a great read. It focuses mainly on the LA Central Library and it's colorful history but also about the library's evolving place in society.

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therealdealbeall
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I just found out that Overdrive is available on my Kobo! Not sure when that update was made because this is not the model that came with Overdrive access, but I am so happy that I can now check out ebooks and not have to worry about the fines I keep racking up from forgetting to return my physical books. 😳

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keepingupwiththepenguins
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Thursday 19 September is AUSTRALIAN READING HOUR. Booklovers all over the country #TakeTheTime to read for an hour, to themselves, to their family, to their dog, to anyone who will listen. I love this event, and its powerful reminder that reading rejuvenates us, reactivates us, and reeducates us. Literacy saves lives! The only problem is picking a book from my groaning TBR pile... #ReadingHour #ToBeRead #AmReading #GoodReads #MustRead

Texreader That‘s so awesome!!! ❤️ 📚 1mo
Hooked_on_books I love this! 1mo
LeahBergen This is great! 1mo
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Madds
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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“Once words and thoughts are poured to them, books are no longer just paper and ink and glue: They take on a kind of human vitality.”

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AngieKWilson
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

The first few chapters describing how the books burned and the knowledge, research and the antiques just gone ... her writing is so descriptive and a beautiful tribute to the wealth of knowledge lost that day.

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SW-T
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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🤣🤣🤣

#humor #litsyhumor

Come-read-with-me @sw-t 🤣🤣🤣 That is my kind of Viking! 1mo
SW-T @Come-read-with-me Mine too! 😂 1mo
26 likes2 comments
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UnabridgedPod
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

"The library is a whispering post. You don't need to take a book off a shelf to know there is a voice inside that is waiting to speak to you, and behind that was someone who truly believed that if he or she spoke, someone would listen. It was that affirmation that always amazed me. . . .” (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod All the things that are wrong in the world seem conquered by a library's simple unspoken promise: Here I am, please tell me your story; here is my story, please listen" (309-310). Susan Orlean's The Library Book is a fascinating nonfiction account of the 1986 fire that took out the Central Library of Los Angeles AND an exploration of the history of libraries in Los Angeles as a way into a consideration of the role of libraries more general.(cont.) 1mo
UnabridgedPod I moved between reading and listening on Scribd for this one (Susan Orlean reads her own work), and I enjoyed both formats. This is a book club read for me, and I'm sure we'll have lots to talk about! 1mo
20 likes2 comments
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Joanne1
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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My view this evening while I enjoy a quiet moment with my book.

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bernadette
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Just read an apt description of the kind of reader I am. Fiction fiend. I do read nonfiction on occasion but really only ones that read more like a story than a textbook.

I love libraries but hadn't realized that reading about them would be so interesting. Originally, I thought the book was about an arson investigation but it goes into all the things we don't see that happen at the library.

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Joanne1
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Reading a book called The Library Book in the library ( well the staff lunch room but it‘s still in the building).

chaoticgoodhufflepuff Libraryception! 1mo
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Sreckess
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
Pickpick

I learned so much, and Susan Orlean is a fantastic writer. She dives into some fundamental questions: why are libraries more relevant today than ever? Did you know you used to pay a membership fee to belong to the library? Why would someone burn a library? How does the purchasing of books work? All of this is interwoven into the history of the Los Angeles Public Library and the devastating fire of 1986.

Fridameetslucy I listened to it on audible. Apart from the history (which I was not aware of) I found it a deeply touching memoir. 1mo
4 likes1 comment
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monalyisha
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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It‘s clear to me how vital the library is as a space & service-provider to the underprivileged. This article explains how it should be essential to us all. 💕

And it might just make me less grumpy on a working snow day. 😉 Maybe some of the patrons are taking in the beauty, imagining what it might be like to live in mansion-home with a view. I can dig. ❄️

https://m.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/a-love-letter-to-the-library/Content?oi...

IamIamIam What a gorgeous building!!!! 2mo
monalyisha @IamIamIam I used a picture of the library where I‘ll be working, starting in two weeks. 😱✨ I hope it feels this magical after I‘ve been working there for awhile. 😅 2mo
IamIamIam @monalyisha Lol, big houses like that always have fun stories attached. Don't take it for granted! I volunteer in a Gold Coast mansion on Long Island built in 1921 and we're always finding out new and interesting things. 👍 Good luck with the new job!!! 2mo
NHLibrarian What a great article! Thank you for sharing. And good luck, what a beautiful building! 2mo
90 likes4 comments
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ReadingMidwife
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Oh no, I might be turning into a fiction fiend!

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The_Shelf.ish_Life
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

If you love the library as much as I do, you will love this book. It‘s history with true crime and present day happenings mixed in. I loved Susan Orlean‘s writing. She‘s very descriptive, but she doesn‘t make you feel like you‘re reading a textbook. This was a great nonfiction read ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #thelibrarybook

24 likes3 stack adds
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monalyisha
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I accepted a job offer yesterday at one of the Best Small Libraries in America.

I had to give up some things (I‘ll make slightly less & I won‘t be working with kids as much)...but it‘s a beautiful environment & everyone I‘ve met so far seems just as beautiful. I think I‘ll be happy there & they seem really happy to have me. 💖

Thank you, Litsy, for your positivity & good vibes, as I crossed my fingers & waited! ✨

MoonWitch94 Congratulations 🍾 2mo
TheLibrarian Congratulations and best of luck!!! 2mo
laur89 Incredible! Congrats! 🥳 2mo
See All 36 Comments
Megabooks Congratulations!! 🍾🥂 2mo
Tamra Yay for you!!! 👏🏾 2mo
QuietlyLaura Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! 🎉👏 2mo
Amiable Is this a photo of the library? It‘s gorgeous! Congratulations to you! 2mo
monalyisha @Amiable It is! Isn‘t it unreal?! 2mo
TheSpineView Congrats! Hope it is the best job ever! 😊 2mo
kspenmoll What a gorgeous environment to surround yourself with! Congrats!!!! 2mo
CaitZ Congratulations! 2mo
Jess Congrats! 2mo
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled So happy for you! That sounds like a wonderful job. 2mo
Avanders Congratulations!! 🍾🤫😘 2mo
AmyG Congrats! Wishing you the best. 2mo
Soubhiville Yay! I hope you‘ll love it! 2mo
Billypar Awesome- congrats!! 2mo
Amiable @monalyisha Is this in Rhode Island? Where is it? I might need to stop in! 2mo
monalyisha @Amiable It‘s in Easton, MA (south of Boston). Definitely pop by! 2mo
DGRachel Congratulations!🎉🍾 2mo
merelybookish Yay!!👏👏 2mo
vivastory Congratulations! 🎉👏🤘 2mo
DaveGreen7777 Congratulations on the new job! Hope its a wonderful fit for you! 😊 2mo
Butterfinger I think I'm jealous. What a gorgeous place! 2mo
OnlyYoo Yay congratulations! 2mo
Librarybelle Congratulations! 2mo
Redwritinghood Congrats! 2mo
Hollie Congrats on your new adventure! 2mo
valeriegeary 👏👏👏 2mo
Jas16 Congratulations! 2mo
Cortg Congratulations! It sounds wonderful!
2mo
youneverarrived Congratulations 😁 2mo
Birdsong28 Congratulations 🎊🎉📚📖 2mo
chaoticgoodhufflepuff Congrats! That sounds amazing! Good luck! ❤️📚❤️ 2mo
Bookzombie Congratulations! 2mo
sisilia Wow, that sounds fantastic. Congrats! 2mo
134 likes36 comments
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ReadingMidwife
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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OK, if I ever quit being a midwife, I‘m going to get my long-fantasized-about degree in library science. Librarian and midwife — two subversive vocations.

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MaggieCarr
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

This was everything I didn't know I wanted in a book. I loved the history, the arsen investigation, the mini biographies of the library staff past & present, the book restoration... all of it.

Crazeedi I really enjoyed this one 2mo
43 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Leftcoastzen
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I wish I was having this right now! Me when my public library website is down.😧😫😡🤬🤯

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Brithomas17
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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$5 bag of books from our local public library and hundreds to choose from. 📚 Very excited to get started reading through my stash. 😊

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Gnora
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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It's Wednesday Litsy and I hope your week is going better than mine...

My #Top6 on a theme today is my favorite nonfiction books about books and reading. So meta! Books on books on books!

#LibraryBooks #RA #nonfiction #booksonbooks

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Literatigeek
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

A book about books AND A TRUE CRIME CASE!?! Sign me the heck up!

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Booktastic
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Mehso-so


There is so much info in this book - it's about mostly the LA Library, ahout the fire there and rebuilding, and it's history. It's also kind of a love letter to what libraries are, have been, and can be.

I enjoyed some chapters more than others. In the end I would have enjoyed it more if it was shorter. I could have done without a lot of the deep history on the LA Library especially.

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Lidia
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

This is me 2 years ago when I went to visit the LA public library. I thought it was one of the most beautiful buildings I‘ve ever seen and after reading this book it makes me want to go back and explore it more thoroughly. This was a love letter to libraries, particularly the LA library, and I enjoyed reading about its history.
I‘m really glad I picked it for our #LMPBC group @Sward7 @Fridameetslucy @mrsmarch

Booktastic I think visiting this library first would have made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the book! Glad you had the opportunity. 2mo
30 likes1 comment
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Purrfectpages
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Love the tweet, just wish people still believed in using capital letters. #petpeeve 📖 ❤️

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Hestapleton
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
Pickpick

This was simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming. Orlean tells the story of library people—how they fight to create spaces for learning and living and how they rise stronger from tragedy. If you ever felt at home in a library, even once, you need to read this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #Netgalley Book 3/12 for #bfcr3

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Booktastic
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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This author has a way of sharing things that make a lot of sense to me, but that I never really thought of before.

She starts this paragraph by saying that in Senegal when someone dies, they say that their library burned down. I may need to start using that.

#library #thelibrarybook

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Booktastic
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I have no judgement for how people spend their money or manage their books!

But - this is why I read 70+ books a year but don't really have any books in my home. Almost everything I read is an ebook borrowed from the library. I don't need the souvenir, I just want the experience!

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MamaGina
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Hi Litsy Friends, I‘m curious...how many Library holds do you currently have?? I have 13!!! 🤓

(FYI: You do know they‘ll all come in at once, right?!? 🤣)

SamanthaMarie 17 😬 but some are for my husband and a couple are for my son 😂 2mo
Megabooks 10! 2mo
Owlizabeth My library limits holds to 10 at a time soooooo 10!! 2mo
See All 7 Comments
Redwritinghood Too many! About a dozen. 2mo
Amie 26 books and 3 dvds 😆 2mo
sprainedbrain 15 holds... and 7 loans out right now. 😳😂 2mo
Ruthiella Only two! 😀 2mo
22 likes7 comments
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Librarybelle
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I think we can all say that at one time or another, the #temptation was there to call off work and read all day. For some of us, it‘s nearly a daily temptation! Pictured is part of my personal library (I have still have a lot of books to organize and boxes to unpack before this is anywhere near completed) and tagged is a recently finished book about libraries and books. #ayupaugust

squirrelbrain I loved The Library Book, and I love your library too! ❤️ 2mo
Kalalalatja Love your library! 😍 2mo
Daisey Lovely! 2mo
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GlassAsDiamonds Love it & I see you have superb taste in (cat) bookends as well 😂♥️😂 2mo
Librarybelle @GlassAsDiamonds Thank you! 😂 2mo
GatheringBooks that‘s a temptation i wish to indulge in 24/7. 🧚🏼‍♀️📚😍 2mo
gradcat Your library is beautiful...and just between us? I‘ve been known to give into that temptation...shhh! 😂 I just noticed the bookends—love them! ♥️ (edited) 2mo
Cinfhen I‘d NEVER leave my house!!!! 2mo
Librarybelle @GatheringBooks @gradcat @Cinfhen The temptation is so real! 2mo
gradcat I know, right!?! 😂 2mo
janeycanuck I think I speak for everyone when I say we‘re going to need some close up shots of your bookends. 2mo
127 likes12 comments
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candority
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Library book sale was a success! 📚#bookhaul

rabbitprincess How appropriate that you found The Library Book at the library book sale! 2mo
candority @rabbitprincess I know right?! 2mo
107 likes2 comments
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danibel
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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monalyisha
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Art by Trindles & Read 😍📚🤓

Readage I love this 😍 2mo
hermyknee Just started following them on IG - what a cute account! 2mo
103 likes3 comments
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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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This is so delightful that I couldn't parse it down into simple quotes.

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danibel
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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