Posted in Just for Fun

What’s In a Cover?

20190821_082036.jpgAs readers, we are often concerned with what’s between the covers. We like great characters, intriguing plot lines, and beautiful prose. However, when picking out our next read, we’re often swayed by what’s on the cover: gorgeous illustrations, enticing blurbs, and a great layout. Without these things, we may never crack the book open and give it a chance.

But what’s with the jacket cover itself?

In the 1800s, a dust jacket’s sole purpose was to cover the book in protective coating long enough to get it from printer to owner. This plain piece of wrapping kept dings, scratches, and tears from marring the beautiful leather, silk, or cloth covers of the day.

Fast forward to the turn of the century. At this time, dust jackets were still meant for shipping and disposal, but they had morphed into something a tiny bit fancier. This generation of wraps had a cut-out window to showcase the engravings or embossed titles that were prevalent on the covers.

It wasn’t until the late 1920’s that publishers realized the advertising real estate that dust jackets offered. This was the birth of the modern dust jacket complete with pictures and text used to “sell” the book. Although at this time, these covers were still considered disposable.

In fact, if you have dust jackets predating the 1970’s, consider yourself lucky. Though beware of the stigma attached to this, as these “ancient” dust jackets were preserved more out of laziness on the buyers behalf than out of a sense of keeping a historic paper trail.

Never fear, our librarians were not lazy as evidenced by a quick glance at our shelves. Our older collection is rife with missing covers–the “salable” information cut out of the original dust jacket and glued to the inside covers. On the other hand, our more current collection sports protective coverings on the protective coverings.

Somewhere along the line, libraries discarded the idea of discarding and began using these masterpieces of art and words to showcase the goodness inside each book. The result: a mishmash of covered and uncovered books.

While the books with intact dust jackets wrapped in their fancy, plastic covers may immediately hold more reading appeal, we hope you don’t skip over the books with the plain spines and cloth covers. Those literary masterpieces still deserve your time and attention.

happy reading~ jody

For more information on the history of dust jackets, head over to these blogs.

Posted in Book Talk

Survival Stories

Books about surviving in the wilderness have been classic reads for generations of children. I remember reading Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and more in elementary school. Here’s a list of survival stories to read if you grew up loving these tales of endurance or want to live vicariously through someone else’s harrowing adventure.

Middle Grade Fiction

  • Refugee 87 by Ele Fountain
  • Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz
  • Falcon Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • Hideout by Watt Key
  • A World Below by Wesley King
  • The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence
  • Swallow’s Dance by Wendy Orr
  • Stranded by Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbetts
  • The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
  • The Trap by John Smelcer
  • I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888 by Lauren Tarshis
  • Memory Boy by Will Weaver
  • Horizon by Scott Westerfeld

Young Adult Fiction

  • Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
  • The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
  • Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter
  • The Goats by Brock Cole
  • The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby
  • When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn
  • Notes from My Captivity by Kathy Parks
  • Lost in a River of Grass by Ginny Rorby
  • Switchback by Danika Stone
  • A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Adult Fiction

  • California by Edan Lepucki
  • Lord Grizzly by Frederick Manfred
  • The Revenant by Michael Punke
  • Midnight Sun by Elwood Reid
  • Winter World by A. G. Riddle
  • The Martian by Andy Weir


  • Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi
  • Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Survival by Yossi Ghinsberg
  • The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Lost in the Wild by Cary J. Griffith
  • Lost in the Amazon by Stephen Kirkpatrick
  • Into the Wild by John Krakauer
  • The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston


Posted in Just for Fun

Meinders Movie Theater Is No Longer Haunted

Thanks to our fearless, ghostbusting escapees, the library is once again a safe haven for Pipestone residents.

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Enjoy this quick escape room countdown:

  • Cats and Spook at 80 minutes
  • A Flock of Sandwiches at 75 minutes
  • Bones’ Harem at 72 minutes
  • The Rainbow Nerds at 71 minutes
  • The Lovebirds at 59 minutes
  • Locks Are for the Birds at 52 minutes
  • (B)lockbusters- the “B” is silent at 44 minutes

Mark your calendars for the last weekend in October and crack the codes in our next escape room adventure.

Posted in Just for Fun

Words Are Hard

Last weekend, I received two amazing gifts–a mug that says “Professional Bookworm” and this:

i before e mugAs we get ready for the new school year, I am once again reminded of all our educational professionals do in teaching our youth to reach their potential.

Reading is hard, but necessary. We live in a world of words. Without them, we get lost.

In fact, a training we just completed at the library gave me a terrifying insight into the world of words. By the age of three, a child coming from inter-generational poverty will hear 30 million less words than a three-year-old child coming from the middle class.


That’s equivalent to not hearing 333.3 full-length novels read out loud. That’s not hearing 111 books worth of words each year. That’s a lot of missing words.

Teachers have my utmost respect, whether they are professional educators or parents and acquaintances taking the time to talk to and read with the youth in their lives.

Words are hard. It’s not weird. It’s a fact.

As you go about your day, please support reading, support strong communication, and support education. It’s the only way any of us can reach our potential.

Thank you, teachers!

happy reading~ jody

Posted in Book Talk

Page to Screen Reads


There’s still time to assemble your team and sign up for Screened, our cinema-themed escape room. Here’s a list of books that inspired recent or upcoming screen adaptations that you can watch on TV, at the movie theater, or from your favorite streaming service.

Young Adult Fiction

  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Movie retitled Ashes in the Snow)
  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
  • The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Adult Fiction

  • The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


  • Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom
  • Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  • Shrill by Lindy West


Posted in Get Connected

Escape from Meinders Theater

Some of my fondest, childhood memories center around movies. Or more specifically, movie theaters in Seattle, Washington, with my relatives. Mind you, this was at a time when you couldn’t DVR, stream, or rent the movie for home viewing at a later date.

Rather, you got to the theater early, got your snacks, and hit the restroom one last time, because, heaven forbid, you needed a refill or a potty break halfway through. Doing so meant you would miss part of the movie, and the only way to see it again was by paying for another ticket and sitting through another viewing–this time without the extra soda.

Lucky for you, our escape rooms only take an hour, and if absolutely necessary, we will let you out for a restroom break. Just come prepared to solve the mystery at Meinders Theater.


Call, email, or fill out the contact info below to reserve your time for our next escape room adventure. Reservations will be complete only after we have confirmed a time with you.