lion1.gif“Press? I could tell by your clothes…” sniffed one greeter at the New York Public Library’s black-tie Library Lions gala last night, analyzing this GalleyCat editor’s corduroy jacket, wrinkled slacks, and uncharacteristically snazzy leather shoes. The guests sipped cocktails in a lavishly decorated salon inside the library, the room decked out with candles, ten-foot-tall floral arrangements, and a paparazzi crew. For one glitzy night, NYC high society dined alongside media moguls like Si Newhouse and novelists like Colson Whitehead.

Once inside, this GalleyCat editor quizzed guests about the one thing that really matters in this world: books. Actor, author and host John Lithgow recalled his favorite library book: “At my library in Yellow Springs, Ohio, I checked out the entire short works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,” he recalled. “It was great storytelling.”

Author Fran Lebowitz reminisced about checking out a John O’Hara book with her mother’s library card. The librarian forced the young reader to call her mother to confirm that she could check out the racy title: “She didn’t care!” exclaimed Lebowitz. “That ruined my mother’s reputation at that library.”

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