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The Library of Unrequited Love

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  2,448 ratings  ·  461 reviews
One morning a librarian finds a reader who has been locked in overnight. She begins to talk to him, a one-way conversation full of sharp insight and quiet outrage.
As she rails against snobbish senior colleagues, an ungrateful and ignorant public, the strictures of the Dewey Decimal System and the sinister expansionist conspiracies of the books themselves, two things shine
Paperback, 92 pages
Published 2014 by Maclehose Press (first published 2010)
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Alicia I just began it !!~ It is a fast read & intriguing…moreI just began it !!~ It is a fast read & intriguing(less)

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Average rating 3.18  · 
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Em Lost In Books
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Em Lost In Books by: Em*bedded-in-books*
"Book and reader, if they meet up at the right moment in a person's life, it can make sparks fly, set you alight, change your life."

Ramblings of a middle-aged librarian about books, authors, and about a man she has a crush on. Many great one liners that cracked me up but also hit bull's eye with their simplicity.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This felt like a one-sided conversation between me and my (not so distant) future self. It's highly probable that I'm going to end up a spinster who will one day pour out all my frustrations on a youth who has no choice but to listen to me.

"The Library of Unrequieted Love" can be read in one sitting. It's a drawn-out monologue with no chapter breaks or even paragraph breaks. The unnamed librarian reveals herself fully in her speech. She can be a tiresome and rather pathetic woman in many ways --
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Saturday was National Library Day. I went into the library, returned books, had a quick scan of the shelves, picked up by reservations, checked them out, and then left without seeing any sign of a librarian. The result of technology, budget cuts, and council departments being merged. And so it was particularly lovely to bring home a library book with a real life librarian inside.


The lady in question arrived for work in the basement to find a reader who had been locked in overnight. She w
Suad Shamma
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2013
"To all those men and woman who will always find a place for themselves in a library more easily than in society, I dedicate this entertainment."

From the moment I opened the book and read that one line, I knew this book was for me. I could not have put it in better words, Sophie Divry spoke to me directly with that dedication.

I was looking for a short, quick read to get me from one book to another. I had been reading a lot of heavy material lately, and I needed that little breather in between. S
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
It was an ok book, just that. Sometimes I found myself nodding to some parts of these ramblings of an old French librarian, but more often than not, I just wished she would shut up. I am especially disappointed that the author chose to focus on the old stereotype of librarians (did she do her hair up in a bun? I bet she did) instead of showing what libraries and librarians are all about right now. Oh well...
Emma Holtrust
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
There are some books that I instantly love - some books that I instantly hate (I never really finish those, bad habit alert) and then there are books like The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry. Is it a bad book? Not really. Is it a good book? Not really.

It’s short and easy to read and “meh”.

The story is just a monologue from a female librarian talking to an unknown man who spend the night in the library. I think it’s always impressive when someone creates a whole book (fine, 80 pages, b
Lots of great one-liners about the value of books, but overall a rather aimless little literary experiment and not particularly well translated. As a former library assistant myself, I could certainly sympathize with this bitter librarian’s disappointment with the state of libraries today: “It’s not a library anymore, with silence reigning over shelves full of intelligence, it’s a leisure centre where people come to amuse themselves.”

[The original French title was La Cote 400, referring to a for
Loved this precious monologue...
The rantings of a middle aged female librarian , purportedly to a reader who gets locked within the library in the night, and subsequently discovered by her when she comes for work.
it was funny, scathing, satirical...
I loved looking at the world through the cynical eyes of a librarian who has seen, nay, read it all.
Her soliloquy covers various subjects including Dewey system of classification, various existentialist writers, and mundane subjects like ordinary peop
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed as I highlighted so many lines. I really enjoyed this little read. I will definitely read it again.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What do you do if you love going to Library, and the first page of a book reads "To all those men and women who will always find a place for themselves in a library more easily than in society, I dedicate this entertainment". You know this entertainment is definitely for you and you then devour pages after pages because all these pages are just screaming to you in a passion only you, a fellow library lover will understand.

The Library of Unrequited love is brilliant in so many ways. There is only
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok what did I just read? I thought this was book was going to be a nice and well written book about the library as an institution. What I got instead was the rambling of a woman who is not satisfied at her job and/or her life, its hard to follow the core of the story, its just one person talking the whole book, no breaks, no chapters, no meaning.... Wow I just dotn know what to think about this. It made me feel kind of depressed since I do happen to work at a library, but then I realized that th ...more
Nadine Larter
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This little book is a sweet soliloquy by a librarian woman as she converses with a man who accidentally spent the night in the library. If nothing else, the idea of the book intrigues me and I have to admit that I currently feel inspired to attempt something similar. I love the style of it. It's so different. I made a couple of notes for how I would do mine and I do love my idea already. Let's see if I actually complete it!
Ammara Abid
Pretty intriguing & delightful monologue.
I'm torn between 3 & 4 stars and finally end up with 3 but actually it's 3.45.

From the book,
"Going into the library is nothing more or less than getting back onto your your mummy's lap. Yes, like mummy, the library gives you a magic kiss and everything's better. Love life in ruins? Hate everyone? Despair over the state of planet? Headache? Insomnia? Indigestion? Corns? I can tell you, there's nothing the library can't cure".

"l have a conversation wi
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things you need to know about this book:It's a monologue.It takes place in a library's basement.It is honest and it has so much loneliness!It is small and adorable.I liked it :)
I bought it because I loved the cover and the title,I didn't have a clue about the story.Yes,sometimes I do judge a book by its cover and it's not bad at all!
Gorab Jain
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gorab by: Em*bedded-in-books*
A short and sweet book having continuous one sided ramblings of a librarian. Written in a very funny tone, laughed my heart out more than a couple of times.

Thank you so much God! My dreams of becoming a librarian never materialised :D
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the ramblings of the librarian. And my lifelong wish to become a librarian has taken a backseat for now.
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was quite the rant! I don't think I'll ever look at a middle aged librarian in quite the same way ever again. A fun, short read.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found that it was not really the best of ideas to begin reading The Library of Unrequited Love just before I went to sleep, because it is a continual stream-of-consciousness work, which has been written in just one paragraph. This rendered it difficult to know where to stop reading. Everything which I love about contemporary French literature can be found in this slim volume; it is witty, shrewd, clever, slightly sarcastic, and intensely readable. The unnamed librarian’s narrative voice is cap ...more
Indrani Sen
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france
A very intelligent, very witty rant of a frustrated librarian. A superb mix of hilarious and touching, with just a little dose of crazy. A delightful read.
Em*Greedy* (Iniya)
Monologous ramblings of a librarian on various aspects of her life... Many of the quotes were eye-catching, but it was too long and tiring for me...!!
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Something different, but not terribly gratifying, ... I thought the premise had plenty of potential, but, for this reader, it went largely unfulfilled.

(Admittedly, the book caught my eye ... in the library, and I decided to give it a chance because ... no deep dark secret here ... but I remember (once, just once) being locked in the University library after closing hours. In a rare moment of concentrated/absorbed study, I missed the closing announcements, and, well, when I finally got up from my
Sharadha Jayaraman
1.5-star Review:
The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

Think of a word. Then, randomly, think of a person who you have a secret crush on. Now think that the word and that crush exist within a realm called "The Library". Got the context? You're good to go down a vociferous path of mumbo-jumbo, then.

Now, speak (read rant) elaborately on the word you thought of. Exaggerate the prose with ad hoc abuses toward your job of twenty-five years and the people you interact with on the job. Then, con
I'm conflicted about this book. The main character was a lonely burned out librarian who complained through the whole story about her library, her coworkers, her patrons, basically everybody and everything save the young scholar with the nice neck who ignores her except to ask her to turn the lights on one day. It had some truly lovely language and good discussion of Dewey and library organization philosophy, but ultimately it was a big bummer for me.
Viji (Bookish endeavors)
“To all those men and women who will always find a place for themselves in a library more easily than in society, I dedicate this entertainment”
This is the thing which drew me into the book. The author definitely has a flair for sales. The best part about the book was its 'dedication'. And after that,it was a downward spiral.

Books are good.. Books teach.. Books are a treasure..
Wait a minute..
I didn't actually mean that.!!!

This book gave sort of mixed messages. It began with saying all the won
Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
I did not like this book one bit, so I’m going to be ranting. You can ignore me if you choose.

Here goes: I hated the main character. And since she's the narrator (and only speaker) for 93 pages, that made this book really tough to finish. The main character is a stereotypical librarian, the ones you see in every movie and TV show in the past 50 years. Single, older, alone, timid, obsessive about order and quiet, and unable to speak to men. Le sigh. As a millennial writing in the 21st century, t
Anders Hanson
I was drawn to this book in a way that I expect many people were - the introductory dedication "To all those men and women who will always find a place for themselves in a library more easily than in society, I dedicate this entertainment." In the end, whilst I appreciated this love song to libraries and the humour that was related to it, the story was in the end slightly disappointing.

I should say that I did enjoy this book. It was quirky. It included lines that really rang true with me about w
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
The Library of Unrequited Love is a short novella about a librarian who has given it all up for her library. It's a silly little story, a cautionary tale, perhaps, but a little story that no one who is a librarian should miss....You will be able to identify.
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sophie Divry's Library of Unrequited love is a ranting snooze fest. Meant to be a bookworm bait talking about libraries and books - the book didn't get anywhere at all for me.

An old complaining librarian finds another person locked in overnight at the basement. And she starts talking to the soul - in what appears to be a monologue on what librarian work entails - the hierarchy, the Dewey system, French authors and their works.

But somehow the tone of admiration vanishes midway through and what w
Maya Sophia
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I just adored this little book. It wasn’t without its flaws, but it’s a beautiful love letter to books and their readers, particularly for those who’ve always felt a bit out of place anywhere but in the company of books. I read it in a single setting and underlined so many passages.

“Spiritually, we can at last fill the terrible emptiness that makes us just worms creeping on this earth. Those endless bookshelves reflect back to us an ideal image, the image of the full range of the human mind
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh I just read this as a light bus read but it was just dull and uninteresting
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Sophie Divry vit à Lyon. Journaliste engagée au mensuel La Décroissance, elle écrit également des chroniques littéraires pour le Monde Diplomatique. La cote 400 est son premier roman.

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Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts thro...
21 likes · 2 comments
“I prefer the company of books. When I'm reading, I'm never alone, I have a conversation with the book. It can be very intimate. Perhaps you know this feeling yourself? The sense that you're having an intellectual exchange with the author, following his or her train thought and you accompany each other for weeks on end.” 41 likes
“That's what sofas are for: sit down, drink a cup of tea, talk of literature. At least that's how I see it.” 25 likes
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