Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lonely Book” as Want to Read:
The Lonely Book
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Lonely Book

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  638 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
When a wonderful new book arrives at the library, at first it is loved by all, checked out constantly, and rarely spends a night on the library shelf. But over time it grows old and worn, and the children lose interest in its story. The book is sent to the library's basement where the other faded books live. How it eventually finds an honored place on a little girl's books ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lonely Book, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Lonely Book

The Book Thief by Markus ZusakFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyMatilda by Roald DahlThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Books about Books
197th out of 815 books — 1,264 voters
Library Lion by Michelle KnudsenThe Library by Sarah StewartThe Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians by Carla  MorrisThe Library Dragon by Carmen Agra DeedyLibrary Mouse by Daniel Kirk
Picture Books about the Library!
62nd out of 114 books — 144 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,271)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 06, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it
I wish more librarians and volunteers would read this and know that some of us do still treasure the old, old-fashioned, torn & scuffed books... even if they're missing the last page! *Please,* if you must cull, at least offer them at a special sale & (ideally) announce it in your newsletter!
Lisa Vegan
Jun 08, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who love old books, and all books, with a bit of a caveat for certain sensitive kids
I have mixed feelings about this book. As I read it today, I loved it. I love old books, and books in general.

But, (view spoiler) there is a deep melancholy feel to this book.

Also, the story could be particularly emotionally difficult for children who are that the developmental stage of believing their beloved inanimate objects have sentience and feelings. The lonely book does suffer quite a bit. I’d have been quite perturbed and sad if I’d had
Oct 02, 2012 Jenelle rated it it was amazing
I love the way my three-year-old picks books at the library. She runs at a break-neck pace, pulling anything that looks interesting or has substance (and by "substance" I don't mean it in the metaphorical way, I mean in the "it has mass and can be picked up" sort of way) off shelves and plopping them in the basket below the stroller. I rarely even see what the titles are before we get home. Limiting her to ten books or less is often impossible.

Many of these "choices" result in myself being requi
May 02, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, wow, wow! Think Corduroy, but about a book. The library book is popular at first, but over time becomes worn and spends more time on the shelf than in the hands of a child. Then, one special little girl finds the library book and falls in love with it and treasures it until a new book catches her interest and she forgets to renew the library book and can no longer find it on the shelves of the library. The girl and the book reunite at the book sale and the happily ever after begins.

This st
Sep 24, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

The magic of imagination and love of reading is captured here in Kate Bernheimer’s The Lonely Book with such warmth, light, and love. A treat for readers of all ages to experience.

I believe books find us in life. When we need them, words and stories find a way to our hearts. Over the years, books have crossed my path with just the right magical mix of words, fun filled adventure, or soul soothing message just when I craved a laugh, distraction, or helping hand. Pure reading kismet!

This tale hold
The story was definitely endearing — especially since readers are told about the feelings of once-often-checked-out library book. However, the story didn’t fully come together for me because I am not a fan of the illustrations — some of them do evoke a warm and cozy feel, others I felt were a bit muddled and dark.
May 20, 2012 Dolly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a melancholy story of a forgotten library book, but is so touching, too. I love how the little girl, Alice, grows to love the book despite its imperfections, possibly because of its imperfections. This illustrtions are wonderful and have subtle shading, with an almost pointilistic feel. The story just seems magical and has a heartwarming ending. We really enjoyed reading this story together.
Apr 26, 2012 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love books, I truly do, but I can't imagine a child enjoying this one. It reads like an older adult's nostalgic view of classic books. And really, "a hardworking library volunteer?!?" I do not dispute that library volunteers work very, very hard, but using that clunky language in a children's book? So the volunteers are the ones to blame for the book being mislaid? Not a favorite.
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Sep 15, 2014 Nidah (SleepDreamWrite) rated it really liked it
When browsing the shelves at the library or a bookstore, when I was little and now as an adult, I sometimes wonder, what some of the books are like, having heard of them or haven't heard of them. And of course if they've been checked out or read or bought.

With this book, it got me thinking about that while reading. Plus there's just something about walking and looking at the spines and reading the different titles and authors that you probably heard or not heard of and wonder if their books are
Judy Desetti
Cute book but not one I think kids will read many times. This is one for adults about having favorite books that become loved and apart of our lives.

I am not sentimental enough to think I would have kept a book on the shelf past its prime time. Guess I am too much of a realist.
Apr 08, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books
I will admit that I teared up while reading this book. When I was a little girl, I often wondered what happened to the books in the library. This story answers that question.

A book is sitting on the shelf, and it is well-loved by all of the kids. However, it eventually falls from popularity. A little girl picks up the book and immediately falls in love with it. As is the case with library books, she has to return it.

The book ends up in the library's basement, dreaming of the little girl who love
Sep 21, 2014 Ivyloo rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic picture book that tells a little girl named Alice who has instantly falled in love with a left forgotten book in the library. The book was once a very popular and was always been held at the supreme spot in the library. The book stresses that a good book can be treasured and read over and over again when a connection has been built in between the book and the reader.
May 12, 2012 Connie rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It actually brought a tear to my eye! Probably from a sentimental adult point of view because I've recently been going through my personal books I owned as a child. They're well-loved and as I pick each and every one up I can remember the delight I had reading them as a child.
This story of the life of a library book touches that part of me and as a professional librarian who takes delight in weeding I began to think sadly about all those books I've removed from the shelves ove
Paul  Hankins
I'm so glad that my friend, Alyson Beecher, introduced me to this little gem about a girl named Alice who "adopts" a lonely book. When they part ways--as often happens with our books sometimes--she goes to try to find it again.

I guess this story resonates with me because I spent some time last year trying to identify a book from my own childhood. With some searching, I was able to find the very edition I had as a nine-year-old living in n. Michigan.

Librarians especially will love this little boo
Landon Rotolo-Utz
Feb 22, 2015 Landon Rotolo-Utz rated it it was amazing
Very stirring children's book. The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer follows the life of a book starting with it's very first day at the public library. The book is new and very popular and is checked out most of the time. Slowly, over time the book becomes less popular and eventually is hardly checked out. The book then meets a young girl who falls in love with its story. The adventure is not over though and the two become separated for a while. This book has many different levels and I'm sure wil ...more
Jeff Fortney
Sep 01, 2014 Jeff Fortney rated it really liked it
The story of the Lonely Book tells the tale of a once very popular children's book that held the supreme spot in the library - front and center. As soon as it was returned, it was checked out again. Back at this time, Chris Sheban's illustration shows little boys with slicked-back hair and bow ties, girls in frilly dresses. The book's cover showed a little girl standing under a toadstool. As it says on the first page, "there was a long list of children waiting for the book, and it hardly ever sl ...more
Amanda Osborne
May 06, 2014 Amanda Osborne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Once in a while you find a story that just tugs at you on so many levels. This was definitely one for me.

I remember being a child myself and going to the little store-front library in my neighborhood and always wanting the same exact book, which was about a ladybug and a cabbage leaf. I *loved* that book and one day it was gone and I was heartbroken. Someone had damaged it and during those days, library books didn't travel from branch to branch. This story evoked those memories and made me smile
Megan Renner
Bernheimer, K. (2012). The lonely book. New York: Random House, Inc.

The story begins with a brand new book. Brand new books get put on a special shelf in the library for a couple months then it makes its way to the children's section. When it first arrived it was very popular. It was popular even after it made its way to the children's section. Eventually though it became worn, and was not very popular at all. That made the book very sad. Until one day a little girl found it and thought it was
Feb 28, 2014 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
Do books have feelings? Do they have a pulse or a message they deliver in a soft whisper to your mind and heart? I think they definitely do. Were you ever browsing in the library or your local bookstore, sorting through titles, when one shouts to you, "Pick me!" You need to hear what I have to say right now about what is happening in your life's journey." I bet you have.

This fabulous little book will tickle a book-lovers ears. The illustrations are soft and muted and beautiful to behold. Much o
Jan 17, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
This is the book for all my coworkers who do not want to get rid of that last tattered copy of that book they loved when they were a child, because it keeps checking out--even though it is missing a whole page and the pages are torn, and it may have been out in the rain, or under a chair. Well this book has a happily ever after for them--sadly if I was that librarian I probably would have discarded the book with the missing page when the page first was torn out.
May 23, 2012 Dolores rated it really liked it
Every adult who grew up with a favored book will love this sweet story because they will relate to the concept of an old book as an old treasured friend. I'm not sure what the picture book audience will think of it, though. The crowd that is reading picture books seems too young to relate to the story. But, picture books do seem to have a large and varied audience, so hopefully this one will find a home. Just like "The Lonely Book".
Michelle McBeth
Oct 12, 2014 Michelle McBeth rated it it was amazing
The Lonely Book is about the life of a book from when it is new and wanted by everyone all the way until it is old and forgotten in a basement. Thankfully, a little girl comes along who loves and treasures the book in the story enough to take it home forever.

This is an absolutely endearing book especially for those of us who adore books. It easily brought me back to when I was a little girl reading books under the covers at night and all the favorite books that were my friends. I especially love
Read  Ribbet
Bernheimer has written the ultimate "good fit" book tale. If it is all about relationships, she captures a great story about a lasting relationship between a book and a young girl that ebbs and flos (a little like the Velveteen Rabbit and Edward Tulane). Reading teachers should have it on their shelves. The illustrations are by Sheban who did the cover for Because of Winn Dixie.
Kay Carman
When I read a review of this book, I quickly placed it on hold and expected to love it. It is very sweet, but it wasn't as wonderful as I anticipated. A little girl finds a picture book in the new book display, loves it, and checks it out again and again. Eventually it's moved to the regular collection, another new books catches the little girl's eye, but she goes back to her old favorite. Eventually it's weeded, and added to a pile in the basement awaiting the next book sale. Now when the girl ...more
Sep 30, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't have kids; I am just a big kid at heart. When I saw this book at a country bookstore, the cover just attracted me. I felt sorry for the little book! I was compelled to bring home the little book, and find out if the book gets a little friend.

I found this book utterly charming. I appreciate that the love story began when the book was already starting to be in tatters. I loved how the child loved other books but still had a love for this old book. It had good lessons on what we should valu
Apr 09, 2013 Carissa rated it really liked it
I felt sad for the lonely book, but the story had a happy ending, just like in the book. I feel thankful that the lonely book wasn't rendered with eyes or a mouth to show emotion, rather, the illustrations portrayed the loneliness in setting and color.
Jun 09, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I just balled reading this book at the reference desk...cried my eyes out...
I really want to read it for storytime but I'm afraid I couldn't get through it, seriously, I will cry during storytime. I'm so reading it at storytime :)
Mar 16, 2014 Cornmaven rated it liked it
This is a lovely story about a lovely, Velveteen Rabbit-like book's journey through life. The artwork is beautifully dreamy. About the only thing that troubled me was the fact that it never addressed whether the book was still on the girl's library account when it disappeared. It talks about her wanting to "renew" the book. Did she bring it to the princess-lion event and leave it there, but it was still checked out to her? And then was it just marked as missing in the system after the volunteer ...more
A picture book that will appeal more to the adult reader than a child! It is rather long, but did bring back some memories of that favorite book from childhood...insert your favorite title here!
Edward Sullivan
Apr 04, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Oozing with excessive sentimentality but hard for a librarian and bibliophile to dislike this story.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 42 43 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Red Knit Cap Girl
  • Rocket Writes a Story
  • Otto the Book Bear
  • The Art of Miss Chew
  • The Cloud Spinner
  • More
  • House Held Up by Trees
  • C. R. Mudgeon
  • BookSpeak!: Poems about Books
  • The Quiet Place
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • Larf
  • Wumbers
  • Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia
  • Bawk & Roll
  • Infinity and Me
  • Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show
  • Chloe and the Lion
Kate Bernheimer is the author of three novels and the story collection Horse, Flower, Bird, as well as children's books. Among other books, she edited the World Fantasy Award winning My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales and the forthcoming xo Orpheus: 50 New Myths.
More about Kate Bernheimer...

Share This Book