Susan Orlean On the Joys of the Library

Growing Up in the Library

Learning and relearning what it means to have a book on borrowed time.

By Susan Orlean

I grew up in libraries, or at least it feels that way. My family lived in the suburbs of Cleveland, about a mile from the brick-faced Bertram Woods Branch of the Shaker Heights Public Library system. Throughout my childhood, starting when I was very young, my mother drove me there a couple of times a week. We walked in together, but, as soon as we passed through the door, we split up, each heading to our favorite section. The library might have been the first place that I was ever given independence. Even when I was maybe four or five years old, I was allowed to go off on my own. Then, after a while, my mother and I reunited at the checkout counter with our finds. Together, we waited as the librarian pulled out each date card and, with a loud chunk-chunk, stamped a crooked due date on it, below a score of previous crooked due dates that belonged to other people, other times… Read more at The New Yorker.

Susan Orlean’s The Library Book is one of our anticipated upcoming releases. To read more about it and all of the books we’re looking forward to, click here.

© Literary Affairs, 2005-2023. All Rights Reserved.