Monday, September 24, 2018

Three Old Books

These three old books among the ones on my bedroom dresser are a bit more precious than the others. Taking them from left to write - pun intended - they are the 1921 edition of HG Wells "Outline of History" , Bassett's "Short History of the United States from 1492-1920", and lastly a seriously overdue copy of the 1943 Second Edition of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith, printed on recycled paper for the War Effort.

The first two were my Mom's and came from James Madison High School. The HG Wells book was my first introduction to Comparative Religions, as Wells was very well versed in the subject. Also, the book has my Mom's signature in the cover page along with a note from me about my intention to pass this on to my daughter and keep it in the family.

Bassett's also came from Madison and my Mom. Apparently she didn't return the books she liked..... This book is invaluable when studying American history. With the rapid turn of events since 1920 most newer books have to cut some things out, leaving unanswered questions about events which have become less important with the passage of time. But there are nuggets of information and long forgotten facts to be gleaned from it.

The third book is one which I read about once a year and it can still bring me to tears, or make me laugh out loud, depending on which chapter I'm reading. The trials and tribulations faced by the Nolan family are timeless. By the way, I did pay for the book, simply to keep it forever. I have newer versions of it which I give away, but this old tattered copy is the one I read.....

These three books can keep me entertained for hours at a time when I am delving into history, or, in the case of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" , I can emphasize with the problems and joys of an Irish immigrant family which is very much like the story of my own family on my paternal side.

The point is that these books are akin to nourishment for me. They give me insights, facts, and joy. My Mom's two books will be passed on to my daughter, marking three generations who will have taken some valuable insights from them. All three have been with me for many years. The first two are family, as I never recall them not being around. The third one is adopted, or abducted, depending on your point of view.

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