I have always been an avid reader and library in school and college was my favorite place. I have a soft corner for every department, every bookshelf in the department and all the books in those shelf. So when I got my hands on The Public Library by Robert Dawson, I instantly fell in love with it. I’m sure people like me will also fell in love with it.
Reading the photographic book The Public Library was like my thoughts are getting words. At one place the author quoted Groucho Marx, “I must say I find TV very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.” My mother told me that I used to do the same thing as a kid. And even today I prefer reading books then glue my eyes to the TV .
Throughout the book there are many riveting quotes written by eminent writers and thinkers. I plan to add all those quotes on my Facebook page as well. They are so intuitive and insightful something which I cherish a lot about the book.
The book is compilation of articles, essays, letters, and poetry by some of America’s most celebrated writers, thinker and philosophers talking about their thoughts on library and importance of reading in one’s life. I particularly liked the foreword and afterword by Bill Moyers and Ann Patchett respectively. Reflection of thoughts by Isaac Asimov, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Lamott Dr. Seuss etc are particularly noteworthy.
How could this review end without the mentioning of the exquisite photos of public libraries taken by Robert Dawson who is a professional photographer. The photos are the core of the book. There are around 175 gorgeous photos of American Public Library which include the majestic reading room at the New York Public Library to Allensworth, California’s one-room Tulare County Free Library built by former slaves. Some of them are also in black and white shade.
We all know the importance of library in a cities and towns but it was sadly mentioned by Robert in the book that many of the public libraries are in shabby condition or are closed. In such a scenario, Robert’s book The Public Library is encouraging and there is still some hope in the future.
I particularly find this Small Library photo very intriguing called Little Free Library with the mantra ‘Take a Book. Leave a Book”. I have many books and after looking at this charitable little library photo thought of starting a similar one.
Verdict: The Public Library is wonderful photography essay book. Worth a buy and a must read.