Starting the New Year Off On a Sappy Note

Okay, I admit it.  Beneath this Rust Belt/Blue Collar exterior, I am a sap.  I cry over Hallmark Card commercials and Steel Magnolias and Beaches.  I have also been known to pick up a sappy book or two to read during my “off season” (a.k.a. holiday break, spring break, etc…) So, when I purchased Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter, I was hoping to finish the book in one sitting.

And I did.  In case you don’t know the story, Dewey started off life shoved in a returned book slot of a small town library.  Rescued by the  library director, Vicki Myron, Dewey adopted the library as his home, and became famous not just in his hometown of Spencer, Iowa, but around the world. 

So of  course, I knew I would like the book.  The story involved cats and a library — two of my favorite things.  But I really didn’t expect to love the book so much.  The plot was really about more than a library and its cat — it’s about community and tough times.  It’s also about the importance of the public library as a community resource.  The author does include autobiographical chapters about the influence that Dewey had on her personal life — but most of the book focused on Dewey’s influence on the community, even attributing the rise of library visits because of his presence. I grew up in a tiny town (about 3,000 people) and the library was my world.  I now live in a town smaller than Spencer, and I can attest how important the library is here.  In a rural community where many homes don’t have computers, the computers at the library serve an important population.  Furthermore, whenever I go to the library, I often wait in line behind people who have piles of piles of books in their hands waiting to be checked out.  Yes, our library has a decent VHS/DVD selection, but most of the time, I see more reading material than anything else.

So, I guess you could say, this is my light reading for the week.  I now have to return for prepping for school work and reading thick Victorian novels for my Brit Lit class.  But I have to say this: if you grew up in a town (big or small) where the public library was your world, than this book is for you! (Even if you don’t like cats…)


  1. I’m a sap in the same way. And I have actually handled this book where I work, but it always goes back out before I can read it. So I just know OF it, and what blurbs and flaps say! So glad you got to actually read it.

  2. I’ll join the sap club as well. I’m a total sucker. It took me about 30 minutes to finish the end of *Dewey* as I was sobbing the whole time and had to wipe tears out of my eyes. My aunt taught high school music in Spencer for several years; however, that was pre-Dewey so I didn’t get to meet him. (I grew up two hours or so East of Spencer.)

  3. Karen Said:

    Thanks Kathleen and Sandy! Sandy, I thought of you when I was reading this book!

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