The Dark Library

The Dark Library

Book - 2020 | First English-language edition.
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In Cyrille Martinez's library, the books are alive: not just their ideas or their stories, but the books themselves. Meet the Angry Young Book, who has strong opinions about who reads what and why. He's tired of people reading bestsellers, so he places himself on the desks of those who might appreciate him. Meet the Old Historianwho mysteriously vanished from the stacks. Meet the Blue Librarian, the Mauve Librarian, the Yellow Librarian, and spend a day with the Red Librarian trying to banish coffee cups and laptops. Then one day there are no empty desks anywhere in the Great Library. A great horde of student workers has descended, and they will scan every single book in the library: the much-borrowed, the neglected, the popular, the obscure. What will happen to the library then? Will it still be necessary?
Publisher: Toronto : Coach House Books, [2020]
Edition: First English-language edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781552454077
Branch Call Number: MARTI
Characteristics: 167 pages ; 20 cm
Alternative Title: Bibliothèque noire. English

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1_Great_Book
Jan 19, 2021

This is ingenious! Like Orwell's 1984, but specifically for libraries. Because I have worked in a library for close to 20 years now, I can relate to the changes in philosophy, society, the general public, the role of the public library, and all that those changes entail over the years.

I particularly loved the nomenclature changes described over time for the users (members/patrons/clients/sojourners/Lecters/Contractuals) and the title/role of the library (Royal, National, Great, Dark). The choice of paper is absolutely divine - I love the feel of the pages.

I will purchase a copy for my home library, as there is too much here to capture in a single read at a fixed point in time. The audience is definitely narrower, which probably has not produced the reviews this could have achieved. But any bibliophile, serious reader, or information management fan will love this book.

j
JLMason
Dec 13, 2020

The Dark Library. I am clever and unusual and satirical, with perhaps a soupçon of French pretension. I am a parable. I tell the story of the Great Library from the perspectives of A Reader in Danger, The Angry Young Book, and The Red Librarian. I confess self-love: of books and learning and libraries and librarians and readers. These are precious to me and they are under threat by modern ways and such institutions as the Ministry of Knowledge and Diffusion of Information. Although I am worried, I believe that there will always be Readers. I speak to you. Read me.

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