The E-Sylum:  Volume 6, Number 51, November 30, 2003, Article 18


  ANA Education Director Gail Baker writes: "I thought you
  and the E-Sylum readers might enjoy the attached article.
  I'm running it in Your Newsletter, an email publication for
  young numismatists, but if you are interested, Amanda said
  you could put it in The E-Sylum also."

  [Amanda is "a proud Seminole at Florida State University."
  She has good taste in books, leading off her list with
  one of my own all-time favorites.  Here's her article. -Editor]

  My Selected Books
  By Amanda Rondot

  I have a confession to make.  For the last several years, I have
  slowly but surely been turning into a numismatic bibliomaniac.
  Each year, my library grows by inch after inch of shelf space.
  Why, this summer alone it grew by over a third of a foot!  Now,
  while it is wonderful to own so many books, I had to pack my
  belongings to move away to college for the very first time in
  August.  Since dorm rooms are not known for being overly
  spacious, I could not bring much of my library along with me.
  What a conundrum!  Consequently, I had to pause and think
  long and hard about which selected books would move with
  me.  Though it pained me to leave so many behind, these are
  the seven I finally chose after great deliberation, presented in
  random order.

  First, Fractional Money by Neil Carothers was a must-have
  for me.  This book explains the United States monetary system
  in its economic context, making changes in series and
  denominations easy to understand.  Since it was written by an
  economist, it provides a different view on coinage and focuses
  on other information than that given by traditional numismatic
  authors.  However, it is still comprehensible and interesting to

  Coinage Laws of the United States, 1792-1894, reprinted by
  Bowers and Merena Galleries in 1990, gives the full text of laws
  regulating the coinage (as its name suggests).  Reading an entire
  act instead of just isolated portions out of context is helpful in
  understanding the intent of the legislators.  While not designed
  to be read through in its entirety like a story, this book is good
  for looking up specific pieces of information.

  Next, Coins and Collectors by Q. David Bowers tells the tale
  of the development of American numismatics.  This book
  discusses my favorite part of the hobby, the people who formed
  the numismatic community, from its beginning in the 1800s until
  the 1960s, when this book was written.  It is well illustrated
  with reproductions of early numismatic advertisements and
  pictures of coins.

  Official ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins is
  helpful not only for those of us who doubt our grading abilities
  and wish to improve them, but also for all coin collectors.
  Since few people are familiar with the grading standards for
  series outside their collecting specialties, this book is good for
  acquainting oneself with a new series before buying unfamiliar
  coins.  I find it to be an especially useful study guide when I
  am acquiring type coins for my collection.

  What library would be complete without a copy of A Guide
  Book of United States Coins?  The standard yearly price guide
  for U.S. coins, it contains numerous facts and figures explaining
  general information and the specifications for each series.  The
  Red Book is extremely useful for showing my non-collecting
  friends, who are only familiar with the presently circulating
  coins, what the country?s coinage looked like in the past.

  Coin World Almanac by the Staff of Coin World is a great
  general reference, touching on a little of everything.  This book
  does a particularly good job of discussing modern affairs.  In
  addition to the standard written format, it contains a plethora
  of information listed in convenient tables (for example: ?paper
  money series-denominations-signatures?), making information
  easy to find when I am not sure what I am looking for.
  Consequently, it is one of my most frequently reached for

  Finally, Q. David Bowers? United States Coinage as
  Illustrated by the Garrett Collection was my final choice to
  come to my new home-away-from-home.  My reading material
  for the drive down, this book has wonderful color plates (and
  black and white ones) on glossy paper, corresponding to the
  descriptions carefully presented in the text.  As do all books
  by Bowers, this work incorporates historical background into
  the numismatic discussions.  It contains many excerpts from
  letters between early important numismatic personages,
  transporting the reader to the collecting scene as it was many
  years ago.

  All in all, I am happy with my selections.  The only book I
  greatly regret not bringing is my copy of Bowers? A California
  Gold Rush History, Featuring the Treasure from the S.S.
  Central America, my pride and joy.  However, after debating
  until the very last minute before I climbed in the car to leave
  (literally! Ask my mom!), I stuck with my painful decision to
  leave it behind; it was just too big to take along.  Currently, it
  is eagerly awaiting me at home, when I can spend several
  weeks of Christmas vacation once again lovingly caressing its
  pages, reunited with it and all my other long lost books.

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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