THE LITTLE PACKAGE by Lawrence Clark Powell


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Lawrence Clark Powell, the well-known librarian, educator, world traveler, and friend of Miller, Durrell and Jeffers, has collected his speeches or articles written or spoken in the line of bibliophilistic duty. They concern such items as what makes a good librarian or a good library: love of books seems to answer the first, while the answer to the second is simply books. Dean Powell quotes Eliot as well as botanists; he describes the delights of Robert Payne or Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, of bookmen like Fiske or booksellers like Rosenbach; he loves the literature and the land of the Southwest, and he loves Memory Lane; he thinks ""how much like a church a library is, in the reverent way people often make entry"". And he can be witty, in a way: at the end of a list of recommended travel books, from Homer to Heyerdahl, he appends a Penguin Atlas of the World- ""Just in case you get lost"". This is a higgledy-piggledy, over-stuffed (the title is misleading), maybe over-happy collection, the sort of literary work whose qualitative counterpart is a home movie- a good home movie, indulgent, inoffensive, warm. It closes with a beautiful hymn to the Malibu coast, where the author now lives with his wife, his dogs, his cats, his Hi-Fi, and, to be sure, his books.

Publisher: World