Central Library is closed for the day (June 22) due to a facility issue.


The Loneliest Library Book

The Loneliest Library Book

Everyone deserves to feel the love on Valentine's Day, but what about every book? We were wondering which materials in our collection might be feeling a little left out on this special day. One particular read, Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac, hadn’t been taken off the shelf in a long while. We couldn’t let this phenomenal read continue to gather dust, so we did what any bibliophile would do. We signed it out for the day and took it on a Valentine’s Day adventure it would never forget!

Here's what we got up to on our date with our loneliest Library book.

We signed out this read from Alberta’s oldest Library, Memorial Park. Initially, we could see why someone might be hesitant to take this book out on a date. A tale of catastrophe, hatred, and revenge, Cousin Bette doesn’t come across as the most compassionate companion. Could we trust this book to not break our hearts? Well, you know what they say — nothing ventured, nothing gained. We’ve been scorned by many a cliffhanger and plot twist in the past, but we couldn’t let our hopes be dashed and give up on finding our one true book love.

We spent some time getting to know each other in the Create Space, checking out all the community crafts and engaging games together. Then we played a couple of board games – Bette’s big vocabulary came in handy when we brought out the Scrabble board.

It turns out this classic tale is a fan of classical music, so we signed out a few of the available instruments in the Library’s music practice room and serenaded them.

As a token of our affection, we offered Cousin Bette a rose. They promised to treasure it always, even though a rose is not a bookmark.

We ended our day with a tour of Central Library, sipping on hot chocolate from the café on the second floor. We could have read Bette for hours in the cozy reading nooks throughout the building.

But like all good dates, this too had to come to an end. We walked Cousin Bette to the Central Library book return, knowing Library staff would make sure they got back home to Memorial Park Library safely. They gave us their ISBN number in case we ever wanted to hang out again. Speaking for ourselves, we’d be into a second borrow.

Want to romance a book of your own this Valentine’s Day? Search for your perfect match among staff-curated lists on Library shelves, and on Libby.

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