Susan Orlean Dissects the Catastrophic LA Library Fire

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Ben Martin/Getty

Susan Orlean had recently moved to Los Angeles and was taking a tour of the main branch of that city’s public library when the man guiding her around took a book off a shelf, cracked it open, and smelled it. “You can still smell the smoke in some of them,” he said, to which Orlean responded, “Because the library used to let patrons smoke?”

“No,” he said, “smoke from the fire.”

“The fire?” asked Orlean. “What fire?”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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