“Here on 42nd Street it was less elegant but no less strange. He loved this street, not for the people or the shops but for the stone lions that guarded the great main building of the Public Library, a building filled with books and unimaginably vast, and which he never dared to enter. He might, he knew, for he was a member of the branch in Harlem and was entitled to take books from any library in the city. But he had never gone in because the building was so big that it must be full of corridors and marble steps, in the maze of which he would be lost and never find the book he wanted. And then everyone, all the white people inside, would know that he was not used to great buildings, or to many books, and they would look at him with pity.”
(from Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin)
Hard to believe, but it’s already half a year since I relaunched my monthly library meme in this current form. I’m really grateful for all of you who have contributed posts and/or tagged me on social media. I love seeing what you’re reading from the library! The above quote clawed at my heart: no one should ever feel that libraries are not for them.
Annabel reviewed a new book about libraries and talked about her own experience growing up with South London’s libraries here. Eleanor and Rosemary posted photos of the books they’ve borrowed from their local libraries recently.
Elle is reading lots of Russian literature this spring, but also went on to devour most of her ‘death books’ stack within a week, and posted about them here.
For my part, I’m going to resurrect a format I used to use for “Library Checkout” posts to capture my library use over the past month, with links to my reviews where available:
- These Days by Lucy Caldwell
- The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez
- Dance Move by Wendy Erskine
- Pictures from an Institution by Randall Jarrell
- The Instant by Amy Liptrot
- If Not for You by Georgina Lucas
- Wahala by Nikki May
- Mr Pye by Mervyn Peake (April’s book club book)
- Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham (a picture book)
- Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire (poetry)
- Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas
- Delicates by Brenna Thummler
- Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
- Things I Have Withheld by Kei Miller
- Brown Baby by Nikesh Shukla
- Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier (rereading for May’s book club meeting)
- Bitch: The Female of the Species by Lucy Cooke
- Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
- The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
- Empire Antarctica by Gavin Francis
- Devotion by Hannah Kent
- Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor
- The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson (review coming tomorrow)
- The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke
- French Braid by Anne Tyler
CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ
(And I have a preposterous number of reservations pending.)
What have you been reading or reviewing from the library recently?
Share a link to your own post in the comments. Feel free to use the above image. The hashtag is #LoveYourLibrary. The project page gives an idea of what you might like to post about.