The Library Book is a book for every reader and every writer. It’s a masterful tribute to libraries, and, even better, it has a plot and a storyline. On April 29, 1986, a fire consumed or damaged more than a million books in the main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. We didn’t hear much about the library fire. A near apocalypse at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor drove the fire to the back pages of American newspapers. “The books burned,” Orlean writes, “while most of us were waiting to see if we were about to witness the end of the world."