A Library Miscellany by Claire Cock-Starkey

Review published on March 3, 2018.

I have been a fan of libraries for longer than I care to remember. I visit my local one most weekends and normally have a book or two to collect or drop back and always look at the shelves to see if there is anything that catches my eye.

This sister volume to The Book Lovers’ Miscellany picks up the same baton as that book. It is one that will have you retiring to the closest comfortable chair to uncover the delights and secrets of the libraries of the world. In here, we learn who was the first librarian, which library in the UK loans the most books each year and just what a legal deposit library is. There is a potted history of the library from the earliest over 2500 years ago to the most recent digital libraries. There are the rules of some of the world’s most famous libraries where you can discover which one states that you cannot carry a gun in (!!!).

It is shocking I know, but there are libraries out there that don’t contain books; however, they do contain a variety of other objects from seeds to smells, art and there is even a library of magic. We learn who wanted the library stock for themselves and were caught stealing the maps and books from some of the most famous libraries in the world, and those who have borrowed the books then forgot to bring them back for quite a while. I’m quite excited by the Future Library that Katie Peterson has created, she is collecting 100 books by 100 different authors and these will not be published until 2114.

There is some overlap between this book and The Book Lovers’ Miscellany, but this is still a cornucopia of snippets, facts and figures about libraries that bibliophiles will treasure.

Paul Cheney 4/3

A Library Miscellany by Claire Cock-Starkey
The Bodleian Library 9781851244720 hbk Feb 2018

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