Lori's Reviews > Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian

Running the Books by Avi Steinberg
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Dec 18, 11

bookshelves: 2011december
Read in December, 2011

For about 10 pages, I really wanted to be a prison librarian.

I probably would've figured out this was a bad idea on my own, but then Avi made it crystal clear.

But seriously, doesn't it sound romantic? After all, what is a book but a window or a door? And few could possibly want those more than prisoners, right? What a noble profession -- offering hope and beauty and escape and passion and wonder to those who might not be able to find those (or so many other things) on their own.

Steinberg is easily as lyrical: The passages about "kites" -- a note left, often in a book, for another prisoner to find -- are poetic, both in tone and in content. As are the relationships he builds with the inmates.

He just scratches the surface of how brutal the job could be, how the institution could tear down those it employs just as easily as those it houses.

Maybe I'll just donate more the next time the plea for books for prisoners comes 'round
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