From the Beacon: Must-read TV: 10 books that inspired TV shows

The next time you're updating your Netflix queue or scouring the aisles at the local video store, take a look at the most popular "TV on DVD" rentals. You might be surprised to learn they are based on characters originating in print. Full-bodied, paper-and-ink novels, that is.So pull out your library card (or rush to get one)and start reading the stories that spawned your favorite must-see TV shows. In the meantime, here are some examples:

• HBO's hit series "True Blood" is based on the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. This paranormal comedic series recounts the life of telepathic Sookie Stackhouse and her happenings in Bon Temps, a fictional town in Louisiana."A Touch of Dead," a collection of Sookie Stackhouse short stories, will hit bookshelves early October.

• Fox's crime thriller "Bones" is based on a series of books by forensic anthropologist and novelist Kathy Reichs. Although there are differences between the books and the television scripts, the similarities are enough to keep you coming back for more.

• Jeff Lindsay's "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" spawned the macabre "Dexter" television series on Showtime centered on the life of Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter analyst for the Miami police department whose only character flaw is that he's a serial killer bent on ridding the world of the "bad guys." Lindsay's latest book in the series, "Dexter by Design," was released Sept. 8.

• The New York City-based teen drama "Gossip Girl" owes its fame to young adult novels by the same name authored by Cecily Von Ziegesar.

No longer airing on prime time, these book series are still great for the eyes and ears:

• Recently cancelled, "Privileged," centers on the life of a live-in tutor and her students -- two teenagers who stand to inherit a wealthy cosmetic fortune. The series is based on the book "How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls" by Zoey Dean.

• You can webstream "Blood Ties," a thriller based on private investigator Vicki Nelson in novels penned by Tanya Huff.

• "Women's Murder Club" was based on James Patterson's novels. Although the television series no longer airs, Patterson released book No. 8 in the series this summer.

• For those cozy mystery stories minus the real-world morgue scenes, Lee Goldberg has written books based on "Monk" and "Diagnosis Murder. "

• Of course, a list of this nature would be remiss without mentioning one of the most popular shows in recent years: Candace Bushnell's "Sex and the City" became HBO's major romancecomedy by the same name.

You might ask, where is the only place you can rent the book and the series on DVD for free? The answer is simple: your local public library.Just go to to browse our online catalog or stop by a local library location to discover the must-read TV on our shelves.