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Between the Shelves: Library friends share a few of their favorite reads
Thomas Jefferson book

Here it is February, the month of love and eight months until our newly refurbished library is completed. Don’t even mention rainy weather, freezing weather , windy weather or any other possible reasons for completion setbacks.

Let’s just focus on February and love. What do we love – parents, children, spouses, friends, animals, clean air, cool breezes and – BOOKS!

Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote “I can not live without books” says it all. His first library was destroyed when the family home at Shadwell Plantation was burned in 1770.

Not to be discouraged, he immediately began collecting more volumes which would reside at his home at Monticello. When the British burned the Capitol and Congressional Library in 1814, Jefferson, now the owner of the largest personal book collection in the U.S , offered his collection to the Library of Congress.

Congress purchased this library of 6,487 works, twice the number that was lost in the fire, for $23,950.

Over his life time, Jefferson continued to add to his library at Monticello as well as establishing a library at his retreat at Poplar Forest. His collection included every genre available written in but not limited to English, French, German, Italian, and Greek .

Alas, most of us do not have the means nor the space to emulate Jefferson, but we are privileged to have our own Richmond Hill Library where we can find books to love.

Here are a few comments on books and their favorites by local book lovers:

The idea of naming my favorite books is both joyful and daunting. A really great book can transport the reader to any place and time. A really bad book can make you reconsider why you chose it and make you re-evaluate your life choices. The beauty of reading is what I think might be a boring book is fascinating to someone else. We all like to read, some of just haven’t found the right book yet. --S.K. 

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks and Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Both are historical novels which follow an extended arch of time. I found that I learned a lot in the process of being well entertained by the character and story lines  --KW.

The Jersey Brothers by Sally Mott Freeman. It was amazingly well researched and a personal effort for her about World War II and a family’s (hers) search for their soldier brother. --AS.

 I recommend Into the Wild by Jon Krakouer who is also the author of Into Thin Air. This is a non-fiction book which was recommended several years ago by a university in North Carolina to be read by the class of incoming freshman before they entered the university. It is both sad and gripping --PH.

 One of my favorite chapter books for older children is MICK HARTE WAS HERE BY BARBARA PARK. It is at times heart-wrenching, humorous and hopeful as you read about a young girl dealing with the death of her brother in a bicycle accident. A true winner --BR.

 Oh Gosh! I can’t pick ONE book. As I look back on my favorite books I realize I like those non-fiction books by far the most.

Even though they are not like novels or action books many of them are written full of suspense, they are page turners indeed. I have learned so many new things in these books: about history, people, events, places, animals, even sports (which usually doesn’t interest me much except The Dawgs).

So I guess my conclusion would be that one discovers new and astonishing things through books like these, which widens one’s horizon and literally shows us the world and who and what dwells in it, and one never stops learning, never ceases to be amazed.

Come find a great book at the Richmond Hill Library 55 Bass Drive Hours: Mon. Tues. Wed. and Fri-9 A.M.- 6 p.m. Thurs. and Sat. 9 A.M. -2 P.M.

FEBRUARY ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHTS Story Time with Ms. Karen -10 a.m. - Feb. 14 and 28 Book Ends Book Club will be discussing The Maidens by Alex Michaelides at 10:30 on Feb. 16 Genealogy Class will be discussing Assumptions in Genealogy at 2 p.m. on Feb. 15

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