HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Public Library and Other Stories by Ali…
Loading...

Public Library and Other Stories (original 2015; edition 2016)

by Ali Smith (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2411968,561 (3.66)17
Member:artistlibrarian
Title:Public Library and Other Stories
Authors:Ali Smith (Author)
Info:Anchor (2016), 240 pages
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Public Library and Other Stories by Ali Smith (2015)

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Twelve short stories by Ali Smith, interwoven with short contributions by other writers on what libraries have meant to them over the courses of their careers. A great read, and an important reminder of the vital nature of libraries. ( )
  JBD1 | Oct 17, 2018 |
I found this a somewhat disjointed and rather disappointing collection of short stories. The sole unifying theme that seemed to be common between tem was the repeated appreciation of books and language and how these can challenge and change us.
This was reinforced by the observations and comments before each story. These were written by a variety of correspondents with the author, in which the writers supported the ethos and work of libraries and demonstrated their positive effect, while lamenting the decline and lack of support for libraries by those responsible for financing them.
  camharlow2 | Jan 25, 2018 |
Appropriately enough, I borrowed this (well, actually, my mother borrowed it for me) from the small branch library that still manages to open a couple of days a week in the village where my parents live.

The UK has lost an incredible number of public libraries in recent years, partly as a result of a perception that books are not relevant to the digital age, but mostly because local authorities are so starved of cash under the Tories that they simply can't afford to provide any services that are not essential to keeping their citizens alive and well. In this book, Ali Smith mounts a spirited defence of books and libraries, directly in the passages between the stories where she asks her friends and fellow writers what access to library books menat to them, and indirectly in the stories themselves.

We get everything we would expect from an Ali Smith book, of course - illuminating glimpses at what's wrong with our world, initially puzzling but ultimately very satisfying narrative tricks, and entertaining sidelights on writers and artists we might or might not know about (Katherine Mansfield, who's never far away in Smith's fiction, gets a starring role this time). Good stuff, definitely. ( )
  thorold | Dec 22, 2017 |
Those looking for a straight-forward, literal novel about public libraries will be disappointed with this book. It is a series of stories that subtly show how important access to information and imagination is and how they allow individuals to build knowledge and resilience to help them in all arts of their lived. The challenges to libraries today are also alluded to: the rise of the Internet, loss of community. Themes and objects connect one story to the next, although they are interspersed with opinions and memories about libraries which Smith has collected from friends and relatives which seamlessly continue the ideas within the stories. The most delicious notion is that this book itself sits on the shelves of public libraries as one of those books that, according to Sophie Meyer, becomes a door 'that opens to every other library in time and space' (p76). ( )
  Becchanalia | Nov 19, 2017 |
I loved this book! Fact and fiction are barely discernible in the thought-provoking stories, and testimonials to the importance of libraries are interspersed throughout. This book is a work couched in a love of words, literature, writers and books and the joy they bring people. ( )
  Laurochka | Aug 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
This same book in a stranger's hands, half-known.
Those readers kindred spirits, almost friends.
You are in transition; you are on the threshold.
The library is the place that gets you. Pure gold.
Jackie Kay
O magic place it was - still open thank God.
Alexandra Harris
Dedication
For Hazel Beamish and for Sarah Wood
First words
Here's a true story.  Simon, my editor, and I had been meeting to talk about how to put together the book you're reading right now. We set off on a short walk across central London to his office to photocopy some stories I'd brought with me. Just off Covent Garden we saw a building with the word LIBRARY above its doors.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Why are books so very powerful? What do the books we've read over our lives--our own personal libraries--make of us? What does the unraveling of our tradition of public libraries, so hard-won but now in jeopardy, say about us? The stories in Ali Smith's new collection are about what we do with books and what they do with us: how they travel with us; how they shock us, change us, challenge us, banish time while making us older, wiser and ageless all at once; how they remind us to pay attention to the world we make. Woven between the stories are conversations with writers and readers reflecting on the essential role that libraries have played in their lives. At a time when public libraries around the world face threats of cuts and closures, this collection stands as a work of literary activism--and as a wonderful read from one of our finest authors.-- Provided by publisher.

Contents (essays in italics):
Library -- Last

-- that beautiful new build -- Good voice -- opened by mark twain -- Beholder -- a clean, well-lighted place -- Poet -- the ideal model of society -- Human claim -- soon to be sold -- Ex-wife -- put a price on that -- Art of elsewhere -- on bleak house road -- After life -- curve tracing -- Definite article -- Grass -- the making of me -- Say I won't be there -- the infinite possibilities -- And so on.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"Why are books so very powerful? What do the books we've read over our lives--our own personal libraries--make of us? What does the unraveling of our tradition of public libraries, so hard-won but now in jeopardy, say about us? The stories in Ali Smith's new collection are about what we do with books and what they do with us: how they travel with us; how they shock us, change us, challenge us, banish time while making us older, wiser and ageless all at once; how they remind us to pay attention to the world we make. Woven between the stories are conversations with writers and readers reflecting on the essential role that libraries have played in their lives. At a time when public libraries around the world face threats of cuts and closures, this collection stands as a work of literary activism--and as a wonderful read from one of our finest authors"--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.66)
0.5
1
1.5
2 2
2.5 1
3 18
3.5 10
4 25
4.5 3
5 5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 129,621,659 books! | Top bar: Always visible