Books Set In Libraries!

Hello all! I have a really fun post today about books set in libraries- because you should all know by now that’s my happy place 😉 And I cannot resist picking up books set there!

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library/There’s a Lion in the Library/Library Lion/The New LiBEARian– okay let’s start off by talking about the *amazing* trend of picture books set in libraries- cos I AM HERE FOR IT! Obviously libraries are just as fun and colourful and full of animals as these books make out 😉

Unseen Academicals– I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t also mention a Pratchett book. And while this is technically mostly set on a football pitch, it does feature the infamous library Unseen University and its library (and my favourite character the Librarian 😉).

Matilda– every book starring a bookworm character has to have a library in it somewhere, so of course Matilda’s lifelong love of reading and her journey to independence from her horrible family begins in a library.

Neverending Story– naturally, all good stories begin in a library- and so it is the case with the Neverending Story. This isn’t a typical fantasy- it is a quest to fall in love with reading.  

Sorcery of Thorns– an adventure in a magical library? YES PLEASE! This such a fun, escapist read for fans of YA fantasy 😊

Lirael– quieter than its predecessor, this coming-of-age fantasy is focused on a heroine who works in a library. And perhaps this is what makes it a more contemplative read.

Midnight Library– this life-affirming, soul-searching story features a very special library indeed. For every book in this library is a life the heroine could have lived if she’d made different choices. Written in Haig’s trademark poignant style, this is a unique exploration of what it means to have a life well-lived.  

Fahrenheit 451– perhaps this doesn’t have a library in the traditional sense, yet what is a library other than a collection of books? Especially when such a collection is strictly banned. This firecracker of a novel is a testament to the importance of books (and indeed libraries 😉)

Book Thief– another unconventional “library” that bears mentioning is the stolen collection of books in this story. Snatched from book burnings, these books become a lifeline in the face of death and destruction.  

Dear Fahrenheit 451– this collection of a librarian’s love letters and break up notes to books doesn’t just give you advice on what books to pick up (and which ones to avoid)- it is full of wonderful library anecdotes and gives the reader an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in the house of books. Plus, it’s also a double whammy for this list, as it’ll give you some more great books set in libraries to check out! (I may be planning to read some of them myself 😉)

That’s all… for now! I definitely want your suggestions- what are your favourite books set in libraries? And are you a fan of any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Why Libraries Matter

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages, but found it hard to start, because of course libraries matter, ISN’T THAT OBVIOUS?! Yet, a lot of the time libraries seem to go under the radar… or worse, when they do get attention, it’s for terrible reasons (ie experiencing ruthless cuts). But working in a library during the pandemic has made me acutely aware of just how vital libraries are. Seeing how much people have missed being inside and feeling that spark of joy being back, I understand more than ever why libraries matter so much. And it’ll be my pleasure to share some of those reasons with you now!  

#1 Libraries are a hub for the community. Anyone can join the library and use its resources. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re there for- everyone’s welcome 😊 The are a beautiful (bookish) sanctuary from the outside world! Which is especially useful for shy bookworms 😉

#2 They provide place to work. Granted, this has not been quite the same for a lot of libraries in the last year, but libraries generally provide study space, wifi and computer access- all of which is so important if you’re from a low-income background or struggling to find room to work. I know this was really significant to me as a teen and a young adult. Libraries make such a difference for so many people.

#3 FREE BOOKS! I mean, you knew I was going to put this in here, didn’t you? 😉 Because what is better than free books?! I know I could never feed my bookish addiction without the library. Every year the number of books I borrow goes up. And it’s looking like the same is true for everyone that’s been borrowing at a rate of knots during the pandemic. Plus, it’s not just a great idea to borrow for leisure, because there are plenty of educational books too! You can learn about everything from knitting to ancient Chinese philosophy to law!

#4 Oh, and while we’re on the topic, there are other free resources. With a library card, you can get access to online resources like Borrowbox, Libby/Overdrive and more! You can also get access to online subscriptions (like Which) and a whole host of other things. Personally, I’ve missed out on these in the past, because I didn’t know they were there… so if in doubt, just ask! (Particularly in the pandemic, when libraries have been offering freebies like lending DVDs).  

#5 They provide fun activities– particularly for children. Obviously, this has been scaled back and mostly online because of that thing-that-happened-in-2020-which-we-won’t-talk-about. BUT these are due to come back with a vengeance soooo watch this space (/check your library website 😉)

#6 Finally, and my personal favourite, you can get ideas about what books you might want to read! Lots of library staff can tell you what’s new, what’s exciting and what you might like based on your taste. One of the biggest perks of the job for me is finding books that readers will love- I always enjoy this question- and actually wish more people would ask!!

And that’s all I have for now! Though I’m sure there are plenty more reasons I missed! What do you think? Are libraries important to you? And why? Let me know in the comments!