This book was all over book blogs last year (which may even be when I put a reserve on it at the library as it took a lot of time to get down to me through the holds). I got it from the library at the beginning of the month and settled down to something rare for me – a non-fiction book.
On a freezing January morning, someone put a tiny kitten into the book returns slot at the library in Spencer, Iowa. The librarians rescued the frozen cat, quickly fell in love with him and adopted him. Dewey Readmore Books, as he was eventually named, because the library cat at Spencer Library and by the time he died at the grand old age of 19, was not only famous locally, but all around the world. This is his story, coupled with some of the story of Spencer itself and of head librarian Vicki Myron, who was Dewey’s “human mum”.
While this isn’t the best written book in the world, it’s a really lovely story about a lovely cat, and if you’re a cat lover (not to mention a bibliophile) you’re sure to enjoy it. It’s a little biased – Vicki Myron clearly loved Dewey very much – but a delightful tale all the same. It also features some interesting history about the American mid-West in the 20th century as well as some of Myron’s own history that puts some parts of the story into context.
I admit I’m not convinced Dewey was as telepathic as Myron makes out, but otherwise I was enchanted by him. I’d love to walk into my library and find a cat waiting to greet me. Dewey’s fame was a little strange but also understandable as it sounds like he was a character and I can readily see his story getting passed on and on in an ever-increasing circle (or probably less perfect shape). It was good to see that New Zealand was included in the places around the world where Dewey had fans. As much as I’m generally reluctant to join in with the “in thing”, I rather suspect I would have been a fan too.
Like I said, if you like books and you like cats, give this book a read. It’s a lovely story of a remarkable – and totally adorable – cat.
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World