Monday, August 5, 2013


This is a book for lovers of libraries and cats. If you like libraries, but not so much cats, then this isn't the book for you. If you like cats in any location, libraries or not, you'll still likely fall in love with this story.

Dewey made headlines as the library cat in Spencer for quite a span of time. In my opinion there isn't an animal that goes better with books than a cat. Maybe it's because they can't help but rub their faces all over the book or because reading seems to offer a moment of peace and comfort -- something which sleeping, cuddly cats are often associated with as well -- but it seems like a no-brainer that a cat would be perfect in a library.

Dewey was found as a kitten in the return book bin of a library in Spencer, Iowa and adopted by the head librarian and staff. From tiny, frostbitten kitten to a grown cat, Dewey was loved by the library patrons and many people both near and far.

This book tells the story of Dewey; how he was found, how he grew up, and the widespread affect he had on everyone around him. He's a cute cat with a lot of quirks and a great personality. That's something that is wonderful about cats and, I feel, non-cat owners often miss out on: cats have great personalities and they're all different. The author of this book does a good job at showing just how special cats can be.

But the book isn't just about this; the author writes a lot about herself. As much as this is a book about Dewey's life and impression on the library, it is about the author as well. We learn of her childhood, her children, her parents and health problems. At times I enjoyed reading about her life but other times I found myself thinking, "This is a book about a cat. I want to read about the cat." However, even the portions that were completely focused on Dewey came off a little repetitive at times.

Besides these two ingredients to the book there was also the dose of talk about Spencer. The small town was discussed just about as often as the author and Dewey and, well, part of me didn't care. Again, I was here for the cat. It's obvious the author has a lot of small town pride but I also began to feel that she was trying to convince us of something. The importance of the town? That she really means it when she says she loves it? I don't really know.

I wasn't expecting to have glorious literature when I read this book and my expectations were correct. This is a book that is meant, in my opinion, to make you feel warm and fuzzy about cats and libraries. It did as much and it honestly left me crying in the middle of my commute to work, surrounded by business men and women, when I was getting to the end (reminder: this is a book that is covering the life of a cat). My mother loved this book and I'm sure other cat-inclined people will enjoy it too. I have another Dewey-inspired book on my shelf which I intend to read... later.

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