My friend Ellen the Librarian alerted me to the fact that my novel Can’t Buy Me Love is categorized thus (see title) in the University of North Carolina library catalog. Needless to say, that knowledge made me smile.

One of the things I could not have anticipated is quite how people would categorize my book once it was free in the world. When I wrote the book, I had a clear vision of where the story needed to go and the meaning I wanted to convey. I knew the book made me smile when I read it. But it’s always pleasant when words about the book make me smile as well.

Before finding out about the card catalog cross reference, “Dumpster Diving — North Carolina — Fiction,” I think my favorite take was the Bloggess’ descriptor of the book as “fantastically odd” and “quite possibly the only romance where tacos save the day.”

Every few weeks, I Google my book to check for sneaky pirate sites –which directly steal money from me — that I then report to my publisher so they can shut the pirates down. (Seriously, stealing an ebook costs me actual money that I could have used to feed my real-life children. Don’t do it, please. Especially when you can check out a legitimately paid for copy from a library!) Today I came across this succinct and well-stated review of my book on the UNC Library’s Read North Carolina Novels blog (click bold text for link). Librarians get me!

I told you all that, though, to tell you this. See, yesterday, I participated in a friend’s research study about early childhood stories, and I was reminded of the rich nurturing and kindness of all the librarians at my old stomping ground, the Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, Texas. My grandmother worked there as a building manager (I think), and I got to know a lot of the librarians in Acquisitions and the Book Mobile. Those ladies used to read all kinds of stories to me, usually ones that had been freshly wrapped in cellophane and had not even gone on the shelf yet. I got to hear and see new, lovely Caldecott award winners and feel the smooth new pages and the tiny pops as the books were opened all the way for the first time. There’s nothing better than old book smell, but new book smell is not bad, either.

I learned to read in first grade, got my own library card, and began devouring books on my own. Libraries were a super big, huge, gigantic, immense, gargantuan, quite substantial influence on my intellectual life. I’m grateful for those librarians then, and I’m grateful for the librarians now, who make me smile with their cross references and insightful blog posts.