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Princes, collectors, bookworms and thieves: the extraordinary story of the library, from Alexandria to the age of Google.
Outstanding ... a history of libraries from the ancient world to yesterday, it is fetchingly produced and scrupulously researched - a perfect gift for bibliophiles everywhere -- Professor John Carey * The Sunday Times * This history of the library, from the Assyrians to the digital age, is itself a wonderful collection of knowledge ... a book full of fascination and ultimately one of optimism, too -- Michael Prodger * New Statesman * This sweeping bookish history has something for everyone ... it is a glorious reminder that books are borderless and boundless and libraries priceless, in all senses -- Lucy Atkins, Best literary non-fiction books 2021 * The Times * Excellent ... rigorous but riveting history -- Dennis Duncan * Spectator * Timely ... a long and engrossing survey of the library that shows how adaptable and creative libraries have been over time * FT * Despite [a] staggering range, the authors manage never to seem in a rush, or to skimp on incidental detail ... holding it all together is a keen eye for stories of individual lives that are representative of something larger ... [a] sweeping history -- James Waddell * Times Literary Supplement * A sweeping, absorbing history, deeply researched, of that extraordinary and enduring phenomenon: the library -- Richard Ovenden, author * Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack * What is a 'library'? Is it a mute display of personal wealth and power, or of a humble devotion to God? A routine community resource, or a waste of taxpayers' money? In The Library, we are led nimbly through the centuries, seeing how it has been all of these things and more, as the authors place on the shelf a cornucopia of bookish history. -- Judith Flanders, author * A Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order * Comprehensive without being miscellaneous, lively without being anecdotal, this sweeping history of libraries shows how central this institution has been to every aspect of human culture.At a time when libraries and librarians are proving themselves to be more important and more resilient than ever before, this whirlwind tour of the different forms that libraries have taken at different times and places will educate and inspire in equal measure. -- Leah Price, founder of the Rutgers Book Initiative at Rutgers University and author, * What We Talk About When We Talk About Books * Magnificently researched and compendious * Tablet * Enthralling ... fittingly, The Library is a handsomely presented and reasonably priced book, with plenty of informative colour plates. The authors' erudition, reflected in a huge bibliography, is carried lightly, and their story is told with wit and wisdom ... A hair-raising journey through the long history of libraries -- Michael Wheeler * Church Times * Libraries have had a long and varied history ... This globetrotting book charts their stories -- Book of the Month * BBC History Revealed *