|The lobby/great room is decorated for the holidays|
The Concord Free Public Library dates back to 1851 but, after the war, resident William Monroe began to envision a significant institution that would be a comprehensive repository for Concord-related manuscripts, archival records, locally significant books, ephemera, and works of art. Early libraries were often the result of philanthropy and the desire to create a suitable showcase for cherished belongings.
As I walked in, I thought not only about Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Sidney (I suppose I should appreciate Thoreau more) but also more recent authors who lived locally and used this library: Jane Langton, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Betty Cavanna, Nancy Bond, and Gregory Maguire. In fact, Goodwin recently downsized and sold her gorgeous house to move to Boston (I would kill for this house). She donated a number of her research works to the library, which had a special table for her books at the sale.
It seemed to be mostly civil war books which don’t interest me as much as other historical periods although I did take a look. Coincidentally, I just featured the Pulitzer prize-winning author in last week's Six Degrees (there are no coincidences). I wound up buying four books at the sale: two Louise Pennys, one book by Marcia Willett, and a Frances the Badger book for the next baby shower I get invited to. I resisted a matching paperback set of The Dark is Rising because I already own all five books, even if mine do not match. Are you proud of me?
I did enjoy walking around downtown Concord, which looked very festive. I bought an ornament for the Betsy-Tacy ornament exchange, gifts for my siblings, and checked the Barrow Bookstore to see if Nancy Bond happened to be lurking there, as I had heard she used to work there.
|Ralph (yes, we are on first-name terms)|
|from Doris Kearns Goodwin's personal collection|
|A locked shelf of rare Alcott editions|