Book Review: Quiet, Please

Scott Douglas’s memoir of his life as a librarian is hard to put down. So hard, in fact, that I took some additional bathroom breaks at various points just to keep reading.

Douglas loves libraries, but not for the reasons you might think. In fact, this look behind the curtain shattered many of my notions about who librarians are and why they choose to be librarians. (Hint: It’s not about the books.) I appreciated Douglas’s look at his profession as an example of public service.

Douglas is skilled at allowing his personality to come through without it taking over the story completely. Case in point: I was very surprised when he identified himself as a conservative Christian about halfway through the book.

Because the book is nonfiction, several of the storylines had less-than-satisfying conclusions, at least from my “Hollywood ending” point of view. That made the stories feel more real, though, even if they left me a little sad by the end of the book.

Douglas’s writing is fresh and fast-moving, and certainly worth reading for anyone interested in the secret lives of librarians.


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