Taylor Swift’s newly released album Red: Taylor’s Version, a re-recording of her 2012 album Red, is making waves with librarians as well as listeners. Wilmington Memorial Library in Wilmington, Massachusetts, shared a recent display on TikTok featuring 11 books with red covers themed around the album with the caption “We’re burning Red at the Wilmington Memorial Library” along with a cheeky sign promoting the album. Fittingly, the video’s soundtrack on TikTok, is set to “All Too Well” (Ten Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version). The sign accompanying the display says “Return the scarf, Jake,” and includes a photo of Swift’s ex-boyfriend, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, along with details about the album being available on on streaming service Hoopla.
The 11 novels shown in the display cover a mix of fiction and nonfiction and include: Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu, A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick, The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu, The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin, Shirley Jones: A Memoir by Shirley Jones, I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark, Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever by Jack McCallow, Swallows by Lisa Lutz, Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin, and Happily This Christmas by Susan Mallery. The Wilmington Memorial Lbrary’s interest in Swift goes back a long time; in 2015, the library posted a photo of a cake on Twitter featuring Swift to honor her birthday.
This isn’t the first time a public library has found video inspiration in Swift. In 2015, the Topeka Public Library created a library-themed parody video of Swift’s hit “Shake It Off” entitled “Check It Out” and wrote on their website, “Perhaps your keen eyes caught on to the fact that Taylor Swift is a BIG part of our video. We’re obviously pretty big fans here at the library (Swifties, if you will). One reason we chose to make a video using this song is her outspoken love of libraries and literacy.” The library encouraged viewers to watch the video closely to catch all the Easter eggs, stating, “You can bulk up on your Swift-y knowledge and trivia by perusing all the Taylor related titles available right now at the library.”
Swift is a fitting celebrity to have her music feted by a public library. The Grammy winner is a longtime library supporter, and appeared in a 2014 American Library Association Celebrity READ poster campaign. In 2011, Swift donated 6,000 books worth $68,000 the Reading Public Library in Reading, Pennsylvania. The donation of Scholastic Books titles included fiction and nonfiction for children and teens, along with picture books, according to the Reading Eagle.
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Swift has also recommended numerous books on social media and in interviews and has posted online that novelist John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and fan of her work, is her favorite author.
As a teenager, Swift was an aspiring author. She told a group of teenagers in 2014 that she’d written a novel at age 13 or 14, one of her earliest forays into writing. According to Billboard, she said at the time, “But since then, I’ve discovered music and that’s the form of writing that inspires me the most. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t expand the mediums and the ways that I choose to write. What if I end up writing a script or a book, or a book of poetry or something? That would be so amazing. I would love to see that happen.” It’s highly likely that if Swift ever does write her own book, fiction or memoir, it will have a place on library displays such as this one.