The Library Corner at SLCC: Which Book to Borrow?

Cleone Sayers at home in the SLCC Library

Jan Bobbett

Finding the right book in our library is always a challenge—not because of the selection. There are plenty to choose from. It’s just that making choices can be challenging. I really like regular fiction hardbacks, so I frequently wander through the hardback fiction section. That offers quite an array, and it’s fun to scour that section for a new book or new author that catches my eye.

Our library customers all seem to have their favorites—by which I mean: a.) favorite section of the library, b.) favorite authors, or c.) favorite genre. For example, if you enjoy Patterson, Kellerman, or Penny, you probably spend your time in the Fiction-Crime areas—maybe in both the hardback section and the Crime-Fiction paperback section.

For your next visit, you might want to explore other sections of the library. I decided this month to lean into other areas myself. I chose to take a closer look at our Pioneers section and our Inspiration section. But it was the Cozy section that I chose to focus on.

I had paid very little attention to our cozies, so I decided to thumb through a dozen cozies while pondering what cozy means in literature. According to my online dictionary, cozy means “giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.” My thesaurus added these: “snug, down-home style, intimate, informal.”

With an open mind, I was beginning to see why our customers speak highly of the cozy books. And I was surprised to find that I actually had read three of our cozy books—having borrowed them from other libraries or bought them at a bookstore where they weren’t clustered together with the term “cozies.”

From our cozies shelf, I pulled out The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare and read one character’s line: “Don’t sound too obviously seductive. The lady is rather proper.” The other character responded, “She’s a lovely person and just the right age for you, if you don’t mind my saying so. She has a lot of personality for a librarian.” (“Ouch!” I say.)

But don’t assume cozies are simple. A reviewer of another cozy, Arsenic with Austen, commented, “It’s a cleverly constructed village mystery, filled with hidden treats for Jane Austen fans and mystery-lovers.” See whether you agree.

My challenge to those visiting the library: Wander through a section you’ve never paid attention to before. You might find it opens up a new view of life.

For February, we spotlight librarian Cleone Sayers who volunteers on alternate Mondays. Originally from Iowa and then Minnesota, Cleone moved to Sun Lakes in 2018. Her first librarian job was at 16, and she continued working in the library throughout high school. Cleone became an elementary teacher/reading specialist. Her favorite genre is historic fiction, and she noted she especially liked A Gentleman in Moscow. Favorite author? Probably Kristen Hannah. Note: Cleone told me she thinks of cozies as mysteries without violence. See how wise she is!