{On the Nightstand} Library: An Unquiet History

book review library unquiet history

I’m assuming we’re all fans of the library here, right?

If you read as much as people like us read, the library is a necessity in order to feed both the reading hunger and our actual physical body. When I worked for a bookshop that gave me 30% off as an employee. my brother pointed out that for me, this was like paying me a six figure salary. Not as far from the truth as I would like.

But, now that I can read library books on the Kindle and don’t have to worry about late fees in the same way, I am a library junkie.

So, of course I wanted to check out Library : An Unquiet History, by Matthew Battles, which tells a concise yet engaging tale of how libraries began and developed into what they are today. I ate it up in a few days.


  • Great coverage of parts of the world I am sad to say I know little about- how Chinese scrolls were made and stored was a favorite
  • Additional nuance to of some of the library stories we all know- Alexandria burning down and the cultural context that led to numerous periods of book burning
  • The people whose ideas, now so obvious, were revolutionary at the time- that people should be able to find their own books in the shelves, for example, was quite a scandal when first suggessted

And there’s a lot more as well.

If you have dreams of being a librarian in a parallel life and often dress like you are one now ( as I do for sure), this is worth a read. Enjoy!

Further Exploring

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