Avi Steinberg

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Avi Steinberg

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Born
Jerusalem, Israel
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Influences
Adam & Eve, Lavern & Shirley, Mother Goose, Missy Elliott, Andre the G ...more

Member Since
May 2010

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Avi Steinberg's first book, Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian, was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker’s Culture Desk blog. His essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Salon, The Paris Review Daily and n+1. ...more

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Average rating: 3.49 · 4,464 ratings · 815 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
Running the Books: The Adve...

3.51 avg rating — 4,020 ratings — published 2010 — 10 editions
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The Lost Book of Mormon: A ...

3.19 avg rating — 313 ratings — published 2014 — 5 editions
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The Happily Ever After: A M...

3.44 avg rating — 66 ratings — published 2020 — 3 editions
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The Good Book: Writers Refl...

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3.78 avg rating — 69 ratings — published 2015 — 7 editions
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Let's Go Eastern Europe 2002

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3.50 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 1994 — 10 editions
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Drawing the Curtain: Mauric...

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings
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“I don't need no Smith and Wesson, man, I got Merriam and Webster.”
Avi Steinberg, Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian

“Pimps make the best librarians.”
Avi Steinberg, Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian

“I think you’re more an archivist than a librarian,” he said.

He told me that archivists and librarians were opposite personas. True librarians are unsentimental. They’re pragmatic, concerned with the newest, cleanest, most popular books. Archivists, on the other hand, are only peripherally interested in what other people like, and much prefer the rare to the useful.

”They like everything,” he said, “gum wrappers as much as books.” He said this with a hint of disdain.

”Librarians like throwing away garbage to make space, but archivists,” he said, “they’re too crazy to throw anything out.”

”You’re right,” I said. ”I’m more of an archivist.”

”And I’m more of a librarian,” he said.

”Can we still be friends?”
Avi Steinberg, Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian

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“Strict seriousness was far more dangerous than any joke.”
Saul Bellow, Ravelstein




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