Monday, December 9, 2013

My Christmas Gift to You -- The Ideal Bookshelf

 In 1843 Dickens wrote a little story in but six weeks time about a man named Scrooge.  A few years later in Victorian England, "Holiday Card' traditions began in earnest.  The legend of St. Nick continued to spread from its humble beginnings in the third century to various European countries with newer twists and names.  Trees and decorating took on new patterns by the early 1600's.  Years later, post WWI veterans brought many of these traditions to America upon their return.  As the 2013 Holiday Season ramps up and Santa's list records all the usual gift requests, let us consider the following books for our home library.  Here are my thoughts on the gift of print.

The books that we choose to keep and display-let alone read- can say a lot about who we are and how we are remembered.  These books define our dreams and ambitions and in many cases retrace our steps along the way.  Our personal libraries reveal our true nature.  Much has been made as of late about the demise of print.  Sadly, it is true.  Large box stores like Borders are gone.  Daily newspapers are nearly extinct, some appearing but two to three times a week.  Social media, not even a decade old has trumped the printed word for all future generations.  Old photos and print will become phantoms on the shelves.  Luckily for us, the local historical societies in Lake County remain the lifelong accumulators of books both past and modern, live in houses large enough to accommodate hundreds of books and documents, as well as take in any overspill from the former libraries of friends and donors.  As the holiday season approaches, here is a list of my ideal bookshelf.  Each book serves as part cataloging manual, part homage to community history, adventure story and autography of our hometowns then and now.  With special thanks to the authors and historical societies whose efforts preserved our past- here is a totally incomplete list.  Happy collecting – let the biblio-lunacy continue.

Images of America – Madison, 2010 - Denise Michaud
Images of America- Willoughby, 2012 - Christina Wilkinson
Here is Lake County, 1964 – Janice and Barbara Cooper, Jack Daniels, et al.
Lake County 1871-1960, 2009 – Lake County Historical Society
History of Kirtland, 1982 – Anne B. Prusha
Mentor, The First 200 years, 1997
History of Mentor Headlands and Vicinity, 1957
By the Buckeye, 1984
Fairport Harbor, 1976 – Fairport Harbor Historical Society
Images of America-Fairport Harbor, 2003 – Fairport Harbor Historical Society
Roses to Retail (Mentor), 2011 – Barbara Snell Davis
Mentor-A Retrospective, 1988

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