The Dewey Decimal System of Love

I did not like this book. I was holding out hope because the title was a little quirky, I thought it might be fun. But alas! It was not.

In addition to reading many comic books, fantasy and sci fi, and other random things, I do also read some chicklit from time to time. So I am familiar with the genre of Josephine Carr’s book. Now usually in a chicklit book your female protagonist will have some sort of dilemma that will cause upheaval in her formally predictable life. I will happily read books where heroines buy country cottages in rural England, refurbish houseboats, realize they are immature drug addicts, or have a checkered past in art forgery. I wasn’t so thrilled at the plotline in this book, where the sheltered heroine becomes fixated on a musician. I did expect the heroine of Dewey Decimal System of Love to be a stereotypical librarian to some degree, but she totally fulfilled any librarian stereotype checklist you could draw up:

Wears her hair in a buh? Yes!
Glasses? Yes!
Sexless Spinster? Been celibate for 15 years!
Bad Fashion sense? Her mother buys her high-necked librarian blouses! And she loves flannel nightgowns.

I knew I was in trouble on page 3, where our librarian Alison fell madly in love with a conductor at first sight and referred to her “silly heart”. As far as I’m concerned, any character who refers to her heart as silly or foolish deserves all the grief that she’ll get into by the end of the book.

I kept hoping that Alison would take up a hobby (other than stalking her man) that would go against her basic Mary Baileyness. Like, maybe she could cultivate a passion for rockabilly, start collecting pez, make her own chainmail, or something to give her some personality.

But this didn’t happen!
Instead, you get a tacked on suspense plot where our heroine gradually discovers who has been letting off stink bombs in the library, and figures out why the conductor’s wife is researching poison. Along the way she gets the required makeover for characters of her type, getting Lasik surgery for her eyes, a haircut, and new clothes.

Oh, well at least the book was short, so I didn’t waste too much of my time reading it. I think the best part of the book was the preface, where the author gives mad props to public libraries.