MixedThe Chicago Review of BooksTheir [libraries\'] history, as Kells finds out, holds intriguing stories \'of every possible human drama\' ... With a claim so invigorating, Kells sets a high bar for his work and high expectations in his reader. To his credit, the book delivers on this promise in a number of places ... Elsewhere, however, the chapters do start to take on something of a catalogue’s dry accounting. A high turnover of facts, trivia, and brick-and-mortar details end up deflating some of the book’s allure, however informative those details may be ... As The Library speeds through the centuries and catches up to our contemporary era, a snapshot quality begins to take over. Certain morsels will delight and educate ... Others may prove interesting only to the most diehard of library enthusiasts ... Which is not to say that the book runs out of interesting material ... Kells succeeds not by transforming libraries into places of great lore and intrigue, but by honoring these venerable institutions that the internet has yet to kill.