Comic Collection Review: Reads Well with Others by Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes


This is the 11th collection of Unshelved, a comic strip about life in a library.  You can order it off Amazon Here:

You can also read the latest Unshelved comics on their website Here:

This is the first series written by Bill Barnes (See the Not Invented Here review on our site.) and this volume even contains a crossover strip with Desmond from Not Invented Here.  You can check out that comic here:

The series follows the adventures of our great cast of characters who populate the local Mallville Library, we have:

Dewey: The Sarcastic young adult librarian who through his snarky manner winds up helping the patrons of the library help themselves more often than not.


Tamara:  My favorite character is the children’s librarian and she always has a positive sunny attitude about everything in life.  Life is meant to be happy and cynicism comes from the bad karma associated with eating meat as she would say.


Colleen:  She is the matron of the library that everyone feared as a child.  She is a master at the old school ways of running a library and is not impressed by the technobabble and computers.  Her knowledge comes from the “Old School” of knowing things, not just googling it.


Mel: Mel is the manager of the library and the ultimate bureaucrat, she is more at home in her office supply catalog than in dealing with the public.


Buddy:  buddy is the library mascot who spends all his time in Gopher costume.  He is quite possibly insane, but in a good way.


These are the main characters, we also have some new additions recently as well as the usual suspects that have the misfortune of populating the library as patrons.

The series is actually really good and I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of it before.  (Especially since it has 11 collections!)  I actually came across Not Invented Here first, but I am glad I have stopped off at the Mallville library and met these great comic characters and peered into the life of the party at the center of their community.

Bill and Gene have created a whole world within their three panel world and have gone even one step further with their Unshelved Book Club which is inspired brilliance.


I highly recommend this collection as well as checking out the others. Unshelved is a comic masterpiece and well worth the investment to bring yourself up to date with all the volumes.  It is a hidden gem lost in the vast sea of webcomics, so do yourself a favor and stop by the Mallville Library and check out a copy of Unshelved for yourself.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

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