I’m making up for my manly posts during the past weeks with this one. So help me, I have a soft spot for cats. And this little book seemed to target me perfectly. I mean, how could I not love a book about a cat who lives in a library?
Dewey has been on the bestseller list for awhile, so it was only a matter of time before I got to it. Actually, I listened to it as an audio book, and it was a great choice in that format because the reader had a lot lot of charm. I’m learning that I love to have stories with first person narrators read to me. It feels like a very natural story telling format (and it’s a great way to do housework).
The book tells the story of Dewey Readmore Books, a cat who was deposited in a small town in Iowa’s library book drop box one cold winter morning. The librarians found a frost bitten and freezing kitten and revived it, to find the most gentle and amiable feline one could imagine. So, the library adopted the kitten, and Dewey lived 19 years in the Spencer Library, becoming an international sensation in the process. His story traveled around the world, and news crews came from as far as Japan to capture the gorgeous orange cat in its home library. You can see the Japanese documentary, along with other news clips, on this site.
If you don’t like cats, I admit, you probably won’t like this book very much. It’s mostly a homage to a very special cat, one who is very much a cat but also overcomes some of the more typical cat aloofness to become extremely sociable and friendly. At times, Dewey seems a bit too good to be true.
But then, there’s a lot of humor in the book as well. Dewey is a picky eater and likes to frusterate the librarians’ best intentions at feeding him. He’s also a bit of an escape artist. Dewey’s addiction to rubber bands and miniature boxes is also quite funny.
What I found most unique about the book was its surprising commentary on our throwaway culture and our focus on youthfulness and beauty. When Dewey ages and becomes less the playful kitten and more the sedentary, geriatric cat, the town loses interest in its beloved kitty. Dewey’s “mom” and head librarian (as well as the book’s author and narrator), Vicki Myron, champion’s Dewey’s cause as well as the case for people who are less valued as they age and function less in society.
Another hidden gem within this book is Myron’s personal struggles as a single mother to develop a relationship with her own daughter, and how Dewey facilitates that relationship. Myron also explains how her own chronic health problems, including breast cancer, were aided by small town support and the love of a sweet tempered and devoted kitty.
To visit the Spencer Library’s page dedicated to Dewey, follow this link.
If I recommend any books that you’d like to purchase, consider buying them through Amazon using the links on my site, so I get a percent of the purchase price back to buy more books to review!