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Review: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s review is a special one for me, especially during National Library Week. This is a book that I bought back during my undergraduate program, and it was a book club pick at my library, and I held on to my copy. Fast forward more than a decade later and I finally decided to re-read the book. So this is the only re-read for my signal boosting of books about books, libraries, librarians, and bookstores.

Oh, and disclaimer…this is a book that definitely made me cry, but more on that later.

All right, let’s go ahead and jump into the review.


Book Details

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 277

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: September 24, 2008

ISBN: 0446407410 (ISBN13: 9780446407410)


How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can’t even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa.

Dewey’s story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next working by library director Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of hem in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with this enthusiasm, warmth, humility (for a cat), and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.

As his fame grew from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend; he became a source of pride for an extraordinary Heartland farming town pulling its way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Okay, this book follows the entire 19 year lifespan of Dewey Readmore Books, the library cat in a small community library in Spencer, Iowa. And yes, it follows his whole life. So, if you are somebody who cried when Old Yeller died, or who cried when Marley passed away in Marley & Me…warning, you will cry when Dewey reaches the end of his life as well.

Other than that, this book will just warm your heart and make you smile and feel good. Reading this book is like being a patron of the Spencer library and getting to go visit Dewey and have him cuddle up on your lap for a little bit of a story time. It’s just great.

Dewey is a precious little marshmallow of a kitty-cat, and a survivor. Seriously, he is dropped in the library overnight dropbox in January on one of the absolute coldest nights of that year. He was shivering and cowering behind a bunch of books in the corner of the box when Library Director Vicki Myron and a fellow librarian discover him there.

They do everything they can to warm him up, get him looked at by a vet, and nurse him back to health, all there at the library, keeping him in the staff room at first.

But then members of the community start finding out, there’s a contest to name him, there’s convincing the community to let him become the official library cat, and more.

This book also contains a nice selection of photos from Dewey’s life and time at the library.

It was so lovely to read about the community bonding over the acquisition of this library cat, and to also learn more about the small-town library, its services, and its patrons through an almost two decade period of time.

Personally I would love to go to a library that had a library cat. I’d also like to go to a cat cafe. Basically I’m a sucker for books, shows, movies, stories, etc about cute animals.

I really need to pick up the other book Vicki Myron wrote about Dewey the cat, because I want to hear more stories about the impact this adorable cat had on his library and the people who frequent it.

Where to Get a Copy

You can grab your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore through IndieBound.

You can also check with your local library.

2 thoughts on “Review: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter”

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