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

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  33,644 ratings  ·  4,617 reviews
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
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published September 24th 2008 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2008)
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerThe Host by Stephenie MeyerThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Best Books of 2008
32nd out of 1,358 books — 6,759 voters
Dewey by Vicki MyronThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollInto the Wild by Erin Hunter
Great "Cat" Books
1st out of 857 books — 412 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wow, am I in the minority with this one. I like cats, I like libraries, and I've even known a library cat or two. I didn't expect to rave about this book quite as much as many others have done, but I also didn't expect to think so very little of it.

A few cute anecdotes notwithstanding, there is just nothing special about this book. Any pet owner could write as much (and many would do it markedly better). The tone of the author was grating to me, and her experiences were not nearly as interestin...more
I didn't expect this book to be quality literature and of course it wasn't. It was a feel-good book, only I've noticed that most feel-good books actually make me feel nauseous instead of good. Especially those that idealize small town America.

I thought I was going to scream if I had to read another paragraph about how amazing the town of Spencer, Iowa is. To give you a taste:
"That's another of Spencer's unique and valuable assets: its people. We are good, solid, hardworking midwesterners. We are...more
Carmaletta Hilton
I thought I was reading a book about a cat, but I wound up reading a book about a woman with a lot of troubles in her life. For every chapter that was actually about Dewey, there seemed to be 2 or 3 that were just about her. I'm very sorry for the losses in this woman's life, and the things she went through, but that's not what I set out to read. I expected a good, light-hearted story about a cat, but every time I reached a point where my spirits were lifted, Ms. Myron brought it all crashing do...more
Tom Franklin
Vicky Myron's "Dewey" is a book about many things: life in small town Iowa, Vicky's own life history, the important role a library can play in the life and identity of a community and, of course, Dewey Readmore Books, one of the best known and well loved cats in the world.

Despite the variety of topics Myron writes about, her book holds together so well through her decision to write honestly about everything. Some of her personal and family history was obviously difficult to write about, but its...more
Johnny Story
Sep 29, 2008 Johnny Story rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: animal lovers and saps
If you ever had a cat growing up then you have to read this book. Much like pets, embarking on this comparatively short 275 page journey, you're signing up for the little guy to warm you over, make you smile, and eventually break your heart (after a 19 year run). With pets, we know what we're getting into and but we just have to do it anyway. To outsiders our pets may be labeled "just a stupid cat" or "just a dumb mutt." However, if you've grown up with one before you've felt that connection. Yo...more
Dec 02, 2012 Reese marked it as stopped-before-end
Recommends it for: kids who think a blanket is food & old folks who miss walking miles to school during snowstorms
Ignore the "to-read" following "never-got-to-the-last-page." Only 210 more pages to go the distance and earn the right to give one star to DEWEY -- but I left the ring. Another ten pages -- and I might have been "down for the count" in Spencer, Iowa. Sorry -- kitty lovers. By the way, I'm one of you. Sorry -- Simple Simon lovers. And sorry -- small-town, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, lovers. This book may be for you, but it's not for me.

When I hated grading freshman compositions, but before the...more
Oct 21, 2008 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Animal lovers and Hallmark commercial cryers
Recommended to Amanda by: GoodReads is advertising it like the second coming
Shelves: 2008, it-s-kinda-true
As I walked out of Penn Station this morning, the proverbial country mouse blinking in the early morning city sunshine, the homesick hole in my heart was filled with a glorious and familiar sight--Borders Bookstore! Oh thank god, finally somewhere I can navigate with familiar ease. And familiarity is an understatement. Every table and shelf looked exactly the same as every table and shelf in the bookstore back home--Cormac McCarthy alongside Love in the Time of Cholera. Jane Green sidling up to...more
Madison Sterling-Zalk
Jan 08, 2009 Madison Sterling-Zalk rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like reading fluff.
Shelves: 2008
Purely a feel-good story (which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you like to read). I can't help but feel the author was prone to over-romanticize Dewey and attribute absolute intent all of the time to all of his actions.

Don't get me wrong--I am a cat owner/lover myself... But, as a resident realist, the fact that Dewey lived so long, generated so much publicity, and obviously soothed a lonely woman who seemed to have a host of physical (and possibly emotional?) issues may...more
While this is not a great literary book, I give it high rating because it touched my heart and is such a strong reminder of how much animals add to our lives. If you have ever saved or rescued an animal, you know how grateful they are and how much love they give back. They bring us though hard and sad times in such a special way. This little guy touch the hearts and lives of an entire town and, through this book, continues to touch hearts.
This book is certainly a tear-jerker, and one that will appeal to anyone who has a heart, but especially to anyone who works at a library. The book is one of those wonderful experiences where the story may be about a cat, but there are lessons to be learned throughout that can apply to anyone's life.

But the main character is, of course, Dewey himself, who springs to life in such endearing ways. I never tired of hearing about the behavior and antics of this amazing library cat.

My only complaint,...more
Oct 26, 2008 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: GR team
An unforgettable story about a cat and his power to change our lives forever!!
Sep 11, 2009 Kirsti rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who can tolerate six packets of Equal in one cup of coffee

I am listening to the audiobook, which is narrated by the same woman who narrated five gruesome mystery novels by Julia Spencer-Fleming. So, even though this book is about a pwecious widdle kitty cat, I keep thinking that any minute there will be a disembowelment.

I really don't know if I can finish this thing. It seems to be a Reader's Digest article that has metastasized into a bestseller.


This book is in some serious need of editing. The anecdotes about Dewey were cute, but the long winded history of small town Iowa and the author were too much for me.

I didn't finish this book and I wish I had the two hours back that I gave to it.
This book turned out to be about more than a cute cat. I also learned a lot about corn, family farms, farming and small towns, as well as about the author. She tries to stay out of the book, but that is a difficult task. Dewey is an amazing cat and definatley worth reading about.
I’m a lark. At 5.00am in the morning I can read anything. In fact I’m up for a challenge. But as the day wears on I flag. Come 11pm at night my brain is mush, and my bedtime reading has to be easy, soothing and happy. Stodge for the eyes. It has to go down like my favourite pudding.

“Dewey – The small-town library-cat who touched the world” was in this vein. It should have appealed to bedtime me – I am completely besotted with cats, and with libraries for that matter..... but it didn’t. The book...more
Jun 28, 2013 SilverRaindrops rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cat lovers who think cats are people, not cats. :(
Despite never having heard of "The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World", I decided to give this memoir a librarian had written about her cat a go. Because I love cats. And books. What could possibly go wrong?

Well ... good things first:

I learned a lot about the Midwest in general and Iowa in particular. And while I dislike the "We're so awesome because we're not arrogant at all"-attitude the author tries to put across, the love for her state shines through, and that has to be worth some...more
Lisa Hoenig
As a librarian and a cat lover, I had to read this sweet book about the world's most famous library cat. The author tells not only Dewey's story, but her own, and those of their library and their town. Some of it was obviously hard to write -- both the tough stuff about her personal life, and the descriptions of just what made the cat so special. There's a lot of repetition, and sometimes more "telling" than "showing." Or maybe I'm just critical because I know how libraries work and how special...more
This is a book that any cat lover with fall in love with. Dewey was discovered as a kitten in a book drop box by librarian Vicki Myron. He quickly becomes a beloved addition to the Spencer library. Vicki Myron shares not only Dewey's story but her own as well and I found both to be captivating. Vicki Myron is the head librarian at Spencer library in Iowa. On the coldest day of the year Dewey crawls into her life. From the beginning Vicki Myron realizes what special cat Dewey is. Despite his roug...more
I have to admit, I cried and I laughed, and I could not have read this book on the bus or while waiting for an appointment. My brother bought me this book for Christmas, so I didn't know it was a new release. Dewey, the cat, lived up until a few years ago, so the timeframe of the story is actually a timeframe that I am familiar with. The setting, however, is very different from what I know.

The author, a library manager, tells of her small town in Iowa and how a cat influenced a whole town during...more
Noran Miss Pumkin
This book just did not have enough kitty cat factor for me. A picture of a cute cat on the cover of a book-therefore there such be a big purr factor in the volume. Well, this book-had three stories in it-maybe even four. First Dewey the library cat; second- the history of the town Spencer, Iowa; third- the Biography of the author; and finally the history of small libraries of Iowa. I signed on for a cat story, not history of a small town. Not for the trails and tribulations of the author. The re...more
Barks & Bites
This is a sweet confection about a librarian who finds a nearly frozen eight week old kitten in the bottom of their book return bin one frigid winter morn. The ladies adopt him and he finds a permanent home within the walls of their library delighting employees and patrons alike.

The book is as much about the author and her small town, and the tough times its residences are facing with big time agri-farming moving in and putting the little guys out of business in the ‘80’s. Dewey helps soothe th...more
Wow. I just saw this book at a local Petsmart. This is about a library cat in Spencer Iowa, where I lived for 2 years from 2002-2004. I remember him well - and I had no clue there was a book about him! I've got to read this. :)

Okay, so the book was written later. I guess I met the cat in his "old age" more or less. I don't remember him greeting visitors, but maybe I came in to the library when it was his nap time.

It was very interesting to read the stories about Dewey (especially the funny ones...more
Well this book was misleading. I thought it was the story of Dewey, the cat that lived in the library (as the title leads you to believe). This is mostly false. It is really a biography of its author, Vicki Myron. She was the director of the Spencer library and self-proclaimed mother of Dewey.

As I was reading I found Myron to be slightly arrogant and I didn't really find myself connecting to anyone in the book. In fact, I was greatly annoyed with Myron and did find any of her biographical portio...more
Oct 14, 2008 May rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of libraries and cats
Okay, so Dewey didn't quite save the world but he did change the lives of those he came in contact with, namely Vicki Myron, the head librarian at Spencer Public Library. Even Vicki acknowledges that without Dewey, nobody would even care to read her story which I found equally fascinating and a good reminder that a library is more than a building or its books. It's about the people who work there and active members within their communities. A great read for those who love reading about libraries...more
A touching and endearing book about a cat that lived for 19 years in the Spencer City Library in Spencer, Iowa. A good read for cat lovers, the stories of cuteness and exasperation will be familiar to anyone who has lived with a cat. The author fills in with history of the town and a lot of her own personal history, so the book feels like a memoir of two people, the author and the cat.
Don't bother reading it if you aren't a cat lover, if you are, you will enjoy it.
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A very sweet story of an orphaned kitten taken in by a small town library and the townspeople he charmed in the ensuing years. Amazing how a small insignificant being can affect the morale of a whole town. A nice heart warming story.
Alison Looney
The worst place to get fair and balanced reporting is in a pet book written by the pet owner. Everyone thinks their own pet is uniquely intelligent, loving, intuitive, and attractive. Granted, most people would stop short of claiming their pet solved the Farm Crisis of the 80s, but it would be silly to expect anything other than uncritical praise for Dewey in the book bearing his name.

So even though I had braced myself for a pro-Dewey story, it was still a little hard to read. Not only is Dewey...more
I loved this book. In fact, when I started reading it I found myself wondering why it had taken me so long to pick it up and read in the first place. It's a touching story about a simple alley cat who took a township to heart, and who the township took to heart as well, at a time of dire need. This cat, whilst owned by the author of the book, Vicki Myron, was every bit the community's cat.

I loved the way the story was written. It had little anecdotes about Vicki's and other peoples' lives, weave...more
Kristina Creed
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The Book Clubs at...: Dewey, by Vicki Myron 1 1 Aug 20, 2014 04:36PM  
Dewey 60 175 Mar 02, 2014 05:30PM  
Diff. name? 19 74 Mar 02, 2014 05:21PM  
Why does Vicki Myron hit the reader over the head with how "gR8!11111" Spencer is? 17 69 Jul 31, 2013 01:17PM  
Its a nice break 6 37 Aug 03, 2012 08:26AM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff pick -- Dewey: The small-town library cat who touched the world 2 12 Jun 19, 2012 08:16PM  
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I was born in Spencer and grew up on a farm south of Moneta, Iowa—a town that no longer exists. I graduated from Hartley Iowa High School and moved to Mankato, Minnesota where I worked, married, had a daughter and went to college. I have a bachelor’s degree from Mankato State and a master’s from Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. In 1982, I returned to Spencer, Iowa to begin working at the...more
More about Vicki Myron...
Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library! Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions Dewey's Christmas at the Library Le nove vite di Dewey (Parole) Mein Freund Dewey, der berühmteste Kater der Welt

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“A great library doesn't have to be big or beautiful. It doesn't have to have the best facilities or the most efficient staff or the most users. A great library provides. It is enmeshed in the life of a community in a way that makes it indispensable. A great library is one nobody notices because it is always there, and always has what people need.” 100 likes
“That's life. We all go through the tractor blades now and then. We all get bruised, and we all get cut. Sometimes the blade cuts deep. The lucky ones come through with a few scratches, a little blood, but even that isn't the most important thing. The most important thing is having someone there to scoop you up, to hold you tight, and to tell you everything is all right.” 27 likes
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