Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Didn't Change My Life But Did Inspire Me to Write

Ok, here I go.  First crack at this blogging thing in a while.  I haven't blogged in ages, mostly because it turns out I'm a rather boring person when I try to talk about myself.  And people can only read so much about my cat before they get a bit bored.  But books - I could talk about books all day and people usually appreciate my recommendations.  So here it is world.  My first book recommendation.

First some background.  I am an avid reader, which is probably obvious.  I'll read almost anything.  I moved to Lexington a few short months ago and the only people I've really gotten to know are the librarians at my local library - which is fine by me, in case anyone was wondering.  Like I said, I'll read almost anything. Mysteries, romance, sci-fi or fantasy, non-fiction (I have this weird love for biographies about relatively obscure people), popular fiction, chick-lit, books with good cover art, books with attractive authors, books translated from other languages, those written 100 years ago, those published last week, academic fiction... Just about anything.  I'll give most authors at least one chance, and usually 4 or 5 chances if I can't make up my mind the first time around.

Last week, a book jumped off the shelf at me while I was browsing the library* about a small-town library cat that I vaguely remember hearing about on the news or something some time back.  Knowing that I was probably going to go home that evening, make dinner, and lay on the couch reading a book with my kitty curled up next to me, I figured bringing home a story about a cat wasn't the end of the world.  I live alone.  No one would have to know - unless of course I decide to start a blog to tell the world about the books, but that's another story.

The short story about how Dewey became famous (for a cat) goes like this.  The librarian lady lived in Iowa and found a cute kitten one morning in the book drop.  They named the cat Dewey Readmore Books - cheesy but my cat's named Lady Bug so I can't really say anything about stupid cat names - and it turned out to be a friendly cat that everyone loved.  The town was falling apart and Dewey made their days a bit happier and ultimately better.  Then he got old and died.  The end.

Of course there's more to the story - there always is.  Honestly, I loved the book.  Trying to tell about it sounds pretty stupid, but really, it's a rather charming tale about a woman and her pet.  And those of us who have pets know the impact they can have not just on one life, but on an entire community of people.  The story is also about the library in a small town.  Basically it combined my two favorite things on the planet (books and a wonderful cat) and wrapped them together in a big, old, sappy story.  I confess, I cried and then hugged my baby and realized that I'm not crazy and pets really can have that big of an effect on people's lived.

So here's where the blogging gets tough for me.  What do you all want?  I give it 3 out of 4 stars... 1 and a half thumbs up... It's good enough to waste some time reading?  I don't want to be one of those book reviewers, because I don't see books that way.  They become a part of my life.  Every book I read, I can relate back to something going on in the rest of my world.  Like this middle school girls who glean advice from the most benign love song on the radio, I always think I can take away great insight from whatever it is I've just read.  So maybe I'll share that.  Dewey was a silly story, yes, and I probably should find more of a social life so I don't spend Tuesday nights on the couch reading books about cats with my cat laying on my lap.  I'm only 25 for pete's sake!  But it was heartwarming.  It made me happy that small-towns still exist (even though I'd never want to live in one).  It made me thankful that my dad taught me the love of reading when I was merely 3 years old.  It made me smile at the thought of the many libraries I've visited in every city I've lived in.  And most of all, it gave me a reason to hug my little Lady, sniff in the smell of sunshine (long story... I'll tell it someday), and tell her I love her.  Which of course prompted her to kiss my nose and snuggle up against my shoulder.  That is love.  And ultimately, that's what Dewey's story was about.  Love.

And couldn't we all use a little more love in our lives?  There's way too much oil spilling, family shooting, and war fighting going on in this world.

*Ok, I was browsing in the cat section and yes, I know that makes me a crazy-cat lady.  But so does the 3 other books I got about cat personalities.  The Dewey book was at least a story.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World


  1. I love your blog!! - Kay the cat.

  2. Rikki! I love your blog already! I have read the children's book version of Dewey to some rambunctious 1st graders, and they gave it 1 and a half thumbs up too! ha. I eagerly await more book recommendations, because I'm always looking.


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