The Greatest Books about Libraries and Librarians

Books about Libraries and Librarians
The Greatest Books about Libraries and Librarians 28

The April reading challenge prompt is a story set in a library, so we asked Guest Blogger Rachel, from Never Enough Novels, to round up her favorite books about libraries and librarians.

If you are looking for more book lists about books, head here for our Ultimate List of Books about Books.

Before we get into the book list, we asked Rachel to tell us a little about herself.

Rachel from Never Enough Novels

Rach 2

Never Enough Novels has evolved from a personal diary/lifestyle/travel/reading log into a blog that’s dedicated to helping readers find their next great book. I primarily share mini-reviews of what I’m reading, unique themed book lists, and upcoming new releases to add to your TBR list!

I’m a frequent visitor to my local library, so naturally, I adore reading books set in libraries or featuring librarians as the main character. Libraries are inherently magical places that all look and feel different but serve the same purpose of putting books in everyone’s hands. 

In case you’re “overdue” for reading books set in libraries, this booklist will be a great starting point to find one you’ll love! 

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

The Paris Library and other books about libraries
The Greatest Books about Libraries and Librarians 29

Books about Libraries

The Lions of fifth avenue

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

August 2020 Good Morning America Book Club Pick

This historical fiction novel about the New York public library is a dual timeline mystery about rare books going missing from the library’s collection. Fiona Davis’s signature style had me basking in the vivid descriptions, making me feel as if I were standing inside the famed library.

I adored the Gilded Age book sections but found myself less enthralled by the present-day timeline. Still, the story was a great one for books about books lovers like myself.

the library book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

A nonfiction option to add to your list of books set in libraries! Explore the role that libraries play in our lives through a detailed investigation into the fire that consumed the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986. 

If your local library has touched your life in some way, you’ll easily get caught up in this exploration of their purpose in communities. Plus, the bonus unsolved mystery of how the library caught fire ensures this nonfiction book is an engaging read!

The Paris Library and the February 2021 Novel Ideas.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

What makes this story different from all the other WWII books is the setting – The American Library in Paris.⁣ I mean, it’s basically destined to be on our list of books about libraries. It’s fascinating to hear about the librarians and how they tried to help their Jewish subscribers and American patrons during the war. ⁣The story will have you thinking about the war in a new light.

the library of lost and found 1

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

When librarian Martha Storm finds a book of fairytales on her doorstep she is intrigued.  When she reads the dedication written to her by her grandmother who had died three years before the inscription, she is inspired to find answers. Martha uncovers secrets in her past that will change her life as she knows it.

A kind of paradise

A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan

This is a best children’s book of 2019 for a reason. I read this as a read-aloud with both of my children (boys 6-8) even though it’s technically a middle grade book.

The story revolves around Jaime who, after doing something bad at school, is doing community service hours at the library for the summer. Jaime is reluctant to volunteer at first but quickly grows to love the staff and regulars at the library. I adored this charming tale and so did my kids. This is one of the books for 11-year-olds that adults will love too!

Mr. Lemoncello

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

This pick from our list of mystery books for tweens is another middle-grade story that adults will enjoy too. Mr. Lemoncello’s library is one of a kind. It’s full of holograms, logic puzzles, and hidden games.

To officially open the new library, a few lucky kids get to spend the night inside as they try to win Mr. Lemoncello’s game and be the first team to escape. If you are looking for great bedtime stories for kids, this series will hit the mark. This is also a great read-aloud book for you and your child to enjoy together.

The woman in the library

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentil

There are so many things that I loved about this book, I do not even know where to start. This is a book within a book- a mystery inside a mystery. This book needs to be in your list of books for summer.

There is a scream and the Boston Public Library that pulls four strangers into a crazy adventure full of twists and turn. All of them have different reasons for being in that room and one of them is a murderer.

This is the book that is being written by an Australian author and mailed chapter by chapter to Leo, in the United States. He is giving feedback on each chapter. And as you watch both stories unfold, you will never anticipate the next step.

This thriller is one of the best books on our list of ultimate beach reads 2023.

The Starless Sea and other books about libraries
The Greatest Books about Libraries and Librarians 30

Fantasy Books about Libraries

The starless sea

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

This is an impossible novel to describe in a few sentences! It features stories within stories, secret societies, an underground library and a prolonged fight to protect it. This is a slow burn with an ambiguous ending, so prepare yourself for quite a journey. 

I actually highly recommend listening to this one on audio if you can since it has a full cast! I adored hearing the various stories told by different actors. 

A Discovery of Witches and other books about libraries

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Delve into the world of fantasy with this scholarly novel that explores the history of witches, wizards, and vampres. Diana is an Oxford scholar who discovers an ancient manuscript in the Bodleian Library that triggers a magical reactin. She quickly realizes that there are creatures who will go to any lengths necessary to find this book. 

However, an unexpected alliance forms with Matthew, a vampire who has spent centuries searching for this manuscript. When he meets Diana though, he cannot help but protect her as she discovers her magical heritage and new powers.

A blend of heart-pounding action and historical study, this book was the perfect mix of fantasy and history. It’s one of my favorites on my list of Halloween Books For Adults

Adore this series? Check out our list of books like A Discovery of Witches!

The Librarians

The Librarian by Christy Sloat

This is the perfect book for fans of Outlander! When Emme’s grandmother dies, she agrees to take over Gram’s library despite plans to head to college abroad. When she opens a book from Gra’s special collection, she finds herself face to face with Jack Ridgewell in  1892 England.  Emme is part of an elite group of women who can travel to the past through books.  When it comes to fantasy books about libraries, this one redefines the meaning of book boyfriend.

Lucy's Little Village Library and other books about libraries
The Greatest Books about Libraries and Librarians 31

Books about Librarians

The personal librarian

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murphy

This fictionalized version of Belle de Costa Greene was wonderful, I’m so glad it was a GMA pick!

Greene was J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian and later the librarian for his heir. She was also a black woman passing as white. She had to keep her roots hidden in order to hold her job, but I’m glad her real truth is being told now.

The Good Sister

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The good sister is a psychological thriller that will keep you on your toes until the very end. Fern and Rose are twins who have always had each other. Rose is the responsible one who has always looked out for Fern.

Fern has trouble reading social situations, doesn’t like loud noises and makes dangerous mistakes all the time.

Rose’s most important job was protecting Fern from their crazy mother. When Fern decides to have a baby for Rose, secrets start to come out. This one will keep you guessing until the end and even then, you’ll be thinking about this book.

The Time Traveler's Wife and other books about libraries

The Time Traveler’s Wife By Audrey Niffenegger

Clare and Henry have an unusual love story. They’ve known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, but got married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one. You see, Henry is an adventurous librarian who inadvertently travels through time.  

I adore how this story explores very real challenges that any couple faces. With the added time travel element, it become an unforgettable read.

While I realize there is only the loose librarian connection to this book list, Henry and Clare’s story is one of my all-time favorites and it shouldn’t be missed. 

What you Wish For

What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Another addition to this list that features a librarian as the main character! In simple terms, Samantha is a school librarian who joins with the other teachers to try to save their beautiful, creative school from a strict new principal.

Throughout the pages, it also turns into a story about dealing with grief and fear and opening your heart to new ways to love. This novel is ultimately the complete embodiment of joy. I honestly adored it and when I ranked my Top 10 books of 2020, this came in at #2! 

The Midnight Library and other books about libraries

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Between life and death, there is a library filled with an infinite number of books. When Nora arrives, she is faced with every possible alternative life she could have lived. She must find her best life before time runs out. What happens when you’re given the chance to see how your life would turn out if you’d made different choices? 

This is a fascinating exploration of how our assumptions about alternative life choices may not be entirely accurate. There are always opportunities to take control of our own life and make changes to get what we want and need. A quick, moving novel that also forces you to think!

Lucy's Little Village Book Club and other books about libraries

Lucy’s Little Village Book Club by Emma Davies

This cute story in a one-sitting read. The story revolves around the six members of a local library book club. Strangers become friends, lovers, and family — and everyone gets a happy ending! This book is a great palate cleanser.

Librarian of auschwitz

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonia Itrube

It’s hard not to mention this story in a round-up of books about librarians, even if the librarian in this story is a unique case. This is the true story of Dita Kraus who was a 14-year-old girl when she went to Auschwitz.  She worked as the “librarian” in the children’s block.

The book gives an in-depth look at the day-to-day survival of people in the camp.  The book is difficult to read but is ultimately a book about bravery and real-life heroes.

The Giver of Stars and other books about libraries
The Greatest Books about Libraries and Librarians 32

Books about Traveling Librarians

the littlest library

The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander

Jess loses her library job and her grandmother who raised her around the same time. She decides she needs a change. She buys a little cottage in a new town that also comes with an old telephone booth.

Soon, she is making friends with her neighbors and turning her phone booth into a cute community library! I loved watching Jess learn to manage her grief and create a network of people around her. It was such a lovely one-sitting read.

the giver of stars

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

November 2019 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I’m not usually a Jojo Moyes reader, but this story about a mobile library was one that caught my eye. I’m so glad I ended up reading it because it was wonderful!

I had no idea that women used to travel by horseback to deliver books in the Appalachian mountains. These librarians were utterly badass as they thumbed their noses at societal norms for the betterment of their community.

Each woman’s story was woven together in a tapestry of love, friendship, and sisterhood. I couldn’t put down this book about books!

The book woman

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

I can’t mention The Giver of Stars without also including The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. There was a bit of drama surrounding these two books since they feature two very similar stories, were released around the same time, and one is written by an already famous author. 

Read this novel as well to compare and contrast how these two writers tell the story of rural librarians of Kentucky! 

The library at the edge of the world and other books about libraries

The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Escape to the western coast of Ireland in this novel about a woman fighting to save her community’s traveling library and find herself along the way.

Hanna is back in her tiny hometown after leaving behind her city lifestyle and cheating husband. As she tries to save her job as the local librarian and restore an old cottage, she comes to realize these people she was happy to leave behind mean more to her than she ever expected.

Books about Libraries and Librarians We Want to Read

If you are looking for more literary stories, check out our list of books about books.

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