Secrets of the stacks


Gladstone Library in Wales Phyllis Rose looks at how libraries weed out old books in “Secrets of the Stacks,” published online in Medium Magazine. It’s an excerpt from her terrific new book, The Shelf: Adventures in Extreme Reading.

She writes: “Boosted by reviews, prizes, large sales, word of mouth, or personal recommendations, a novel may make its way onto the library shelf, but even then it is not guaranteed a chance of being read by future generations. Libraries are constantly getting rid of books they have acquired. They have to, or they would run out of space. The polite word for this is ‘deaccession,’ the usual word, ‘weeding.’ … Weeding, even in the garden, has become a remarkably controversial subject.”

You can read the full article here.

The photograph here is of the magnificent Gladstone’s Library in Wales.

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