I could not believe how long it took me to photograph all the books we have throughout our home. All of us are book lovers. Our interest are eclectic and some are downright an obsession. For instant, our son Charlie’s interest is in maritime studies. It all started with, you guessed it, the Titanic. What kid doesn’t find that epic enthralling? He even drew a blue-print like picture of every deck on the ship with captions. It measures about six feet long by four feet high. It hangs over his bed. As he got older, he became interested in World War Two history, especially the ships. This lead him to authors of seafaring genre and he can’t seem to read enough Clive Cussler novels.
Our daughter Tiffeni is a bibliophile. She started to collect books at a very young age and still has many of them. Her interests range from a fixation on Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. As she matured, she like all things Victorian. When a teen, she received her first American Girl Doll, Samantha, which embraced the Victorian period. When she became employed with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, there was a time when the American Girl Company wrote a storyline about an 18th Century young girl named Felicity. This interest grew to an outstanding collection of books and dolls. Tiffeni also loved architecture, especially the historical Sears Houses. With her love for books and history, it was not surprising when she turned her sights to teaching. She became a certified Waldorf teacher which introduced her to Friedrich Froebel, the Father of Kindergarten. After homeschooling her brother, she reached out to other families who desired to have their children home schooled. With such a need for alternative education, she is currently developing a curriculum that embraces Froebel education. Her father and I truly believe that because our family has always surrounded itself with books, our children have become outstanding adults with varied interests that they love to share.
My husband Keith has somehow earned the reputation as a Renaissance Man. He is knowledgeable and experienced in a wide variety of subjects and his worldly presence draws people to him. Outgoing in a gentlemanly way, he offers advice and consults many an uncertain mind. His Norwegian and German ancestry has given him a remarkable DNA. Coming from a family of builders, he worked in construction for many decades, eventually becoming a Master Builder. When he retired from his navel duties, he achieve the status of a Chief Petty Officer with the Naval Reserves. During those three decades he traveled to foreign ports, amassing a goodly amount of knowledge. His career in restaurant equipment sales offered him a wide range of experience. He taught me how to cook! Though not a book collector himself, the kids and I have given him books galore and I think he has read just about all of them. The library in his office will attest to that.
As for me, I was not a book lover at all. In fact, due to having dyslexia and poor eyesight, reading was extremely difficult for me. I was a poor student and disliked school. The only subjects I enjoyed were art classes. I wanted to become an interior decorator, but instead was married and became a mom. When Tiffeni entered school, I found myself back where I didn’t want to be. But my dislike for education changed because of my daughter’s love for learning. She taught me how to navigate a library and take interest in her studies. All parents want to help their children, but it was the other way around, and I am eternally grateful for her guidance and confidence in me to re-learn all that I could. Then it happened. I wanted to write. I never thought that I could, but with my family’s help, I did. When we moved to Virginia and were surrounded by the history of America, one could not help but be embraced. So I wrote two vest books (meaning slender pocketbook) on colonial history. After immersing myself in non-fiction, I decided to write a fictional novel, which at this time has been ongoing for much too long. Hopefully I will finish it and maybe offer it on my blog. Which leads me to this blog post on collecting books. I certainly have strayed from the subject, however, because I am espousing the idea of creating your family museum, books will have a place on your shelves. Do make room for a few precious ones because they will tell a story about you and that’s what the museum is all about.
A last word on book collecting. It may be described as a hobby, as a passion, even as an obsession, and giving much thought on how I best can advise you on collecting books, here are two websites devoted to everything about books. www.djmcadam.com D.J. MaAdam offers various aspects of collecting antiquarian books. Click on the website then on one of the many links below to find the information you're looking for. And www.rbms.info/yob.shtml which is the Rare Books & Manuscripts Section of the American Library Association. They address frequently asked questions about rare and older books and their values.
P.S. I was going to blog about Jewelry on this post, but decided to devote this blog to just books. Next week posts will be about jewelry and many other collections. Have a wonderful weekend.