I guess about the only hobby (if you can call it that) I have is collecting books. That is something Ive been doing for a long, long time. My office attests to that in that I have shelves full to overflowing with books. Im sure there are many folks who have more books than me, but I have a pretty good collection. Some I acquired when they were new and some I got from yard sales, rummage sales and such. A few of my books were given to me from friends who know my love of books. There are few books of fiction in my collection. But I would say 90% of my books are non-fiction such as biography, history, writing style, etc.
Some books in my collection stand out from all the rest. One of my most interesting books (to me at least) is a very old book with the title Life of George Washington. The complete title is Life of George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America, Throughout the War Which Established Their Independence; and First President of the United States. The book was written by David Ramsey M. D. It was published in 1911. Folks, that makes the book over two hundred years old: two hundred fourteen as a matter of fact. That was a while back.
In last weeks column I mentioned the book featuring the Lectures and Best Literary Productions of Bob Taylor. Bob served two terms as governor of Tennessee. I consider it to be one of my favorites books. That book was printed in 1912.
Another book I value highly is The Authentic Life of William McKinley Our Third Martyr President by Alexander K. McClure and Charles Morris. McKinley was the third United States president who was killed while in office President Lincoln was the first, President Garfield was the second.
I feel fortunate to have a copy of the History of the 13th Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry. That book tells much of the American Civil War and how it affected East Tennessee. Another important read is the Thrilling Adventures of Daniel Ellis, Union Guide. That book was written by Ellis himself and writes a great deal about what went on during the Civil War in Johnson County and East Tennessee.
Of course, I have the two History of Johnson County books (Volume I and Volume II) published by the Johnson County Historical Society. They are very informative. The Society is currently working on Volume III.
Johnson County native Herman Tester published a few years ago a valuable history of Johnson County, especially the Butler Dam and how it effected the citizens of Old Butler. The title of the book is Butler Old, New and Carderview. There are other books that are included in my favorites but those I have mentioned will suffice for now.
I would impress upon all who read my column to read often. It is a good way to acquire knowledge. In fact it is probably the best way.