The Library Book by Susan Orlean
On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, Susan Orlean delivers a uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.