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

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  40,468 Ratings  ·  5,148 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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ATrueBookworm Yes, it is. Myron does a amazing job of portraying her life and the lives of her customers. Also, the way she describes Dewey and his personality is…moreYes, it is. Myron does a amazing job of portraying her life and the lives of her customers. Also, the way she describes Dewey and his personality is adorable. If you like cat books, depressing back story's, and small town America, than you will probably find this little gem of a book very interesting. I know I did.(less)
LeeAnne It is an adult book, there is a kid's version I believe
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 CarrollThe Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Great "Cat" Books
1st out of 1,083 books — 619 voters
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 1,532 books — 6,861 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 12, 2008 Cathleen rated it did not like it
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
Mar 28, 2012 Kinga rated it it was ok
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
Carmaletta Hilton
Feb 12, 2009 Carmaletta Hilton rated it it was ok
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
Jun 29, 2008 Tom Franklin rated it it was amazing
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
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
Firstly, thank you all for enjoying putting up with my cat-story updates. As pet lovers know, we all need to talk about our pets to random strangers from time to time, so that was rather therapeutic.

Dewey's story is an incredible one. And, as shown by the 20-year difference from the beginning to the end of the book, it's highly unlikely the library would have adopted a cat in this day and age. As Vicki notes, there were complaints after Dewey showed up and it was decided that he would stay, but
Johnny Story
Sep 29, 2008 Johnny Story rated it it was amazing
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
There is a common idiomatic phrase, "it does exactly what it says on the tin". Well in the case of Dewey: The small-town library-cat who touched the world by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter, it doesn't. The book is a bit of a hotch-potch.

It starts out as a very promising and touching animal story. The librarian of a small town library in Spencer, Iowa, discovers a tiny, frozen, furry bundle in the drop-box of her library. Incredibly, the bundle proves to be a kitten who is still alive, though barel
Jan 31, 2016 Reese marked it as stopped-reading
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
Jan 08, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 08, 2009 Madison rated it it was ok
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
Apr 07, 2015 Margitte rated it really liked it
BLURB: 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.

Jawelnofine, I am one of those weirdos who just cannot resist the idea of Dewey the library cat. My whole life w
Oct 21, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it
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
Oct 26, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Laura by: GR team
An unforgettable story about a cat and his power to change our lives forever!!
Oct 18, 2008 Grace rated it really liked it
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,
Sep 11, 2009 Kirsti rated it did not like it
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.


Mar 16, 2009 Erin rated it did not like it
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.
Jan 07, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
May 20, 2015 Caroline rated it did not like it
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
Mar 24, 2016 Rikke rated it did not like it
I love cats. I love libraries. But God, I loathed this.

Not because of Dewey, of course. Dewey seems like the sweetest kitten that ever graced earth – like most kittens do. He lived in a library and made the life of the librarians a bit sweeter and lovelier just by being there. He was rescued, and he rescued others in turn. He made a difference just by existing. As pets often do.

The parts of this book concerning Dewey's routines and habits were overly cute. I adored reading about Dewey's quest f
Oct 28, 2008 Sharon rated it really liked it
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
Mar 27, 2009 Diane rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished, midwest
This book has irritated and disappointed me so much that I'm taking a few minutes to bash it.

I first saw "Dewey" in a book store before Christmas. I read the first page of the introduction while standing in front of the new books display, and I loved it. That first page was one of the best descriptions of Iowa I've read -- it perfectly summarized how I feel about my home state.

"There is a thousand mile table of land in the middle of the United States, between the Mississippi River on the East an
Mar 23, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I get connected with the books. The story is simple, mostly about Dewey the cat. Dewey is the cat who stayed at the library in the small town Iowa. He touches everyone heart with his warm acts and gestures. It give us message that animals could add something to our lives, they give us the love unconditionally. This book is for everyone.

“For years, I thought I had done that for Dewey. I thought that was my story to tell. And I had done that. When Dewey was hurt, cold, and crying, I was there. I h
Lisa Hoenig
Sep 06, 2008 Lisa Hoenig rated it liked it
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
Damn little book about a cat made me cry.
Yeah this was good, just something about it, something about Dewey. But I also loved reading about the small town in Iowa where he lived and the life of its people especially Vicki, Dewey's Mum. I feel like I know her now. Also enjoyed the pictures scattered throughout. Just a nice read, except for the crying at 3am when I finished part. Damn cat.
Jan 23, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jun 28, 2013 Sovotchka rated it it was ok
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
Bark's Book Nonsense
Mar 03, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
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
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I thought this was a wonderful book. I loved reading about Dewey's story, about how he was found in the after hours book deposit, and how he won the hearts of not only the library staff, but also of the library patrons and the town of Spencer. I also enjoyed reading about the towns people and about Spencer's history. I was not expecting that, and it was a nice surprise. I enjoyed hearing about the history of the town, about the downfalls it suffered and how the community rallied together to carr ...more
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Dewey Readmore (4 books)
  • Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library!
  • Dewey's Christmas at the Library
  • Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions

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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.” 115 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.” 30 likes
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