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This ‘n’ That: Books are still important to me

By Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian

With all the interest and emphasis on electronic devices now-a-days, especially electronic books, it seems to me books made with paper and ink are taking the back seat or maybe even the rumble seat when it comes to entertaining and informing us. I suppose there are those who remember the rumble seat. It was a feature on some cars of an earlier time. I certainly do. I took my driver license test, driving a 1932 B model ford with a rumble seat in back.

I am a book fan. If you saw my collection of books, you would probably agree. Many of them were purchased at used books stores and garage sales. I ran across a real buy at a garage sale a year or so ago. It was the History of the 13th Regiment Tennessee Vol. Cavalry written by Samuel W. Scott and Samuel P. Angel. The book tells the true story of what took place in East Tennessee during the awful American Civil War. It was a terrible time in history since Johnson County and a number of other counties in East Tennessee were loyal to the Union Cause.

As I think about the books I have, I always remember a special book a friend gave me a few years ago that I really cherish. While it shows a lot of wear, it is in pretty good shape considering its age. The book was published in 1811. Its title is The Life of George Washington. Folks, that is old (two hundred and seven years old as a matter of fact.)

Another book that I own that is high on my list is The Authentic Life of President McKinley. It was published in 1901 shortly following the assassination of McKinley, the 25th President of the United States of America. I believe reading is important. I read that reading is one of the main ways we learn as we travel the road of life.