A child raised among books by “feral librarians.” A sentient library. A comfortable story that feels a bit like the plush chair, pillow, and blanket you’ve wrapped yourself up in in order to read this story. Between photographs of libraries out in our world, the story of a library shut down but for the seven librarians who refused to leave, who one day locked the door and went about their business without the world that didn’t think it needed them. This is In the House of Seven Librarians, a short novella (or a long short story) that first appeared in Firebirds Rising, a 2006 anthology. These days you can find it on the shelves of Aqueduct Press, a publisher of feminist science fiction.
When a baby arrives via book return one day, the librarians take her in and raise her among the stacks. As she matures she moves between the shelves: from children’s to adult and through the rest of the non-fiction. The story is a celebration of librarians, a bit nostalgic, a bit sentimental, a sweet story to read for dessert on a chilly fall night. While growing up means leaving the places we are most comfortable, perhaps it is the leaving that allows us to enjoy that nostalgia in the first place.
The only thing I didn’t find pleasantly charming about this little book was the cover. For the first time in a while I didn’t mind that I had an ebook on my computer rather than a paper book on my shelf to loan and fondle and pet. But that is silly really. It is the words inside that count.
Seven out of ten library books. Returned on time. Enjoyed by many.
Where I got it: Aqueduct Press website