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Author Susan Orlean on the fire that nearly destroyed the LA Central Library

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Susan Orlean. Photo by Rosalie Atkinson/KCRW

On April 29, 1986, a fire raged through the Los Angeles Central Library. Nearly every firefighter in the city was there. It was the greatest loss to any public library in U.S. history -- more than a million books were burned or damaged. In “The Library Book,” Susan Orlean writes about the fire, but the book is also a love letter to the LA Library, and its enduring place in the city’s life.