Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book Review: Library - An Unquiet History

Library: An Unquiet History is a book about the history of libraries, but in a bigger sense about the history of the written word, and the way in which we've treated it, sometimes despised it, and sometimes tried to erase or otherwise shape our histories and our realities by the which in way we preserve it.

On the plus side, I learned a lot, and was also presented with a lot to think about in areas I'd taken for granted. The purposes libraries serve and have served change over time, for example, the ebb and flow of thinking in whether libraries are there to preserve as much as possible, or to filter and preserve only the best books. There are also great bits of history, ranging from the limited knowledge about how libraries of ancient scrolls were maintained two thousand years ago, to the efforts of Nazi-occupied jewish ghettos to maintain a library under occupation. There's also great bits of history and trivia about librarian education over time, how the Dewey cataloging system was invented, along with others, and much more.

Unfortunately the author has a very dry style and comes across with some degree of pretentiousness that made it a difficult read. As a result, I give this one a 3/5 kind of rating.

Library: An Unquiet History

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