Nancy Pearl: Seattle’s Most Famous Librarian

Show Notes

Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl is a well-known librarian, literary critic, and author. She is best known for her work as a book reviewer on National Public Radio (NPR) and for her popular book recommendation series called "Book Lust."


In addition to her national reputation as a book critic and author, Nancy Pearl is particularly well-known in Washington State for her contributions to the literary community. She served as the Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library, where she helped to establish the Washington State Book Awards and other literary programs. Pearl has also been involved in promoting literacy and reading throughout the state, and she is a frequent speaker at libraries, bookstores, and other literary events. In recognition of her contributions, Pearl was named the 2011 Librarian of the Year by Library Journal.


Nancy Pearl has also written several books, including "Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason," "More Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason," and "Book Crush: For Kids and Teens - Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Interest." In 2017 George and Lizzie was published. This was Nancy's debut novel. During our conversation she shares that she still thinks of the characters and would possibly be interested in writing another book to continue sharing the story of one of the minor characters in the book.


Nancy is known for her passion for reading and her ability to recommend books to readers of all ages and interests. Appearances on NPR, a Ted Talk, and her monthly TV Show Book Lust with Nancy Pearl on Seattle Channel. These are just some of the ways Nancy has inspired multiple generations of readers.

Librarian Action Figure

Nancy also is the inspiration behind the popular "Librarian Action Figure"


Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure in package

"Don't even think about it. It'll never happen." - Nancy Pearl


That quote is what she told her husband on the drive home from a dinner party the night the Librarian Action Figure was mentioned for the first time. Local company Archie McPhee produced the figure and it has become a best seller.

In fact the action figure has been so popular that it has been updated with a more contemporary wardrobe including a cape! What action hero does not have a cape? 


In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. How Nancy Pearl, a retired librarian, used her childhood library to pursue a career in librarianship and how she has gone on to make an impact on the profession.
2. The story of how Nancy Pearl became the model for the first librarian action figure.
3. The benefits of listening to audiobooks and how they can enhance the reading experience.

Wrap up

What a fun time! Nancy was a wonderful guest and her passion for books and reading shines through. I truly enjoyed every minute I was able to talk with Nancy. I believe you will enjoy listening to  every minute of this episode.

Some of the People and Places Mentioned in this Episode

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