THE LIBRARY LOOKOUT COLUMN: Celebrating National Library Lovers Month

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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Do you love libraries? Do you love reading books about libraries? Did you even know that books about libraries was a thing?

I’ve got a great list of books for readers of all genres. Check one out and show your library love.

Melanie Holles

If you like to read mysteries, there are several writers who have series set in
libraries. “The Case of the Missing Books” by Ian Sansom is the first in a series about a bookmobile librarian in Ireland. Quirky occupation and lovely Irish country setting with a little mystery thrown in.

Then there is the Library Lover’s Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay which is set in a coastal Connecticut town. The series is set around the library with the librarian as sleuth.

If you enjoy cats who solve mysteries, then you’ll like The Cat in the Stack series by Miranda James. These books are set in a college library in Mississippi where Charlie works part-time and is able to take his cat to the office.

If you think all libraries should have cats (and I agree with you) then you will love “Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat who Touched the World” by Vicki Myron. I highly recommend this book because my aunt worked at the Spencer, Iowa Library when Dewey was found in the book drop, and she is mentioned on the second page.

Another nonfiction book about libraries is “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. Orlean writes about the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library. If you are a library lover, you might cry at the thought of a library burning down. This book follows the history of the library and how and why the fire happened and how the library recovered.

For something a little more lighthearted is “The World’s Strongest Librarian,” a memoir by Josh Hanaharne.

There are a few more classic books by libraries that make it on to “must read”
lists, such as Agatha Christie’s “Body in the Library,” Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose” and Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s “Shadow of the Wind,” which starts the four book The Cemetery of Forgotten Book series.

Many of the novels about libraries tend to have more surreal aspects to them.
There is magic and travel involved in many of the books, including “Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine, where books can not be personally owned; “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness opens in Oxford and travels through time; “The Invisible Library” by Genevieve Cogman where librarians travel to different realities to collect books; “Lost in a Good Book” by Jasper Fforde, where life is like a novel; and “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan which involves a secret society.

Lucky most of these books are part of a series so if you love the universe they are set in you can discover more.

One new title of note is a lighter chick-lit book. “No Offense” by Meg Cabot is set in the Florida Keys and the children’s librarian, Molly, finds a baby in the library.

Hopefully you’ll find one of these books interesting enough to check out. Some are available in print and others on the list are available as ebooks from the Libby app.

You can look up all the titles on our web page to see what is available and to place holds. If your local branch library (Badin, Norwood, Oakboro or Locust) doesn’t have a book you want, you can place a hold and we will bring it out to the branch. Call the circulation desk in Albemarle at 704-986-3755 if you have any questions.

We hope you do love the library because we love all of our patrons. Stop by and see us.

Melanie J. Holles is director of the Stanly County Public Library, 133 E. Main St., Albemarle. Email