Monday, 7 January 2013

The Library Book

Editor: Rebecca Gray. Profile Books Ltd, London, 2012.

Contributors: James Brown, Anita Anand, Julian Barnes, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Lucy Mangan, Alan Bennet, Seth Godin, Val McDermid, Lionel Shriver, Stephen Fry, Bella Bathurst, China Mieville, Caitlin Moran, Tom Holland, Susan Hill, Michael Brooks, Bali Rai, Ann Cleeves, Julie Myerson, Nicky Wire, Zadie Smith, Kate Mosse, Karin Slaughter, Miranda McKearney.

This anthology is an easy and enjoyable read for any library lover. At just a few pages per essay, memoir or short story it can be read in a day or dipped into at leisure.

My favourite work was Julian Barnes'  Fahrenheit 451 inspired "The Defence of the Book". Barnes' timely satire is set in a dystopian England in a not too distant digital future, where books no longer have any value. The Defence of the Book are a rebel group of white-haired activists who seek to protect the nation's remaining libraries from the destructive forces of the coalition.

The other essays which I particularly enjoyed were Hardeep Singh Kohli's "The Punk and Langside Library" and Caitlin Moran's "Alma Mater".

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