If every public librarian, working and retired, buys a copy of Annie Spence's Dear Fahrenheit 451, she'll have a hit on her hands. It has a long subtitle, "Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks, A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life." How do you get rid of books, in the library, or in your personal collection, when they meant something to you at one time? Spence explains why she keeps certain books, and which books haven't stood the test of time, and are heading elsewhere.
Spence's book is a fun collection of letters to the books themselves. And, she classifies each book. For example, Fiction - Tolstoy, Leo. Classic Russian Literature. The Bachelor. Choices. In other words, she just couldn't get into Anna Karenina, and addresses, "Dear Anna Karenina". I watched "The Bachelor" instead of reading the book. It's going back; it's not for her. Do you remember Color Me Beautiful in the '80s? If so, you probably know your season, and what you should wear. As a librarian, Spence admits she purposefully gave the wrong book to a reader once when asked for historical romances set in South America. She knew the reader didn't really want Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Of Love and Other Demons, but she couldn't help herself.
But, my favorite letter, and I'm sure that of many librarians out there, was the letter "Dear Magnificent Library featured in Beauty and the Beast Movie". Like Spence, that's my favorite Disney movie. I'd love to quote the entire letter to you, but I'll just mention this. "Belle is my favorite Disney heroine....She's just trying to finish her book. In my opinion, the premise of the film is: people constantly interrupt Belle while she's tryna read."
Everything about this book is for an avid reader to love. There are "Books That Lead to More Books", "Good Books with Bad Covers", lists of "Books I'll Never Break Up With". If you enjoy this book, you'll probably find yourself making your own lists. Or, you'll nod your head, and remember you loved or want to read that book. Or, you'll disagree with a selection. No matter what you do, readers will have an opinion about the selections in Spence's Dear Fahrenheit 451.
Dear Fahrenheit 451, Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence. Flatiron Books. 2017. ISBN 9781250106490 (hardcover), 244p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.