How long has it been since you last read an actual book? Not a short blog post on a topic, not a “bunch” of Facebook comments to a post, but an actual book? That book could be genealogy how-to book, a historical reference, or something similar.

But getting off the temptation of the internet and actually reading something and studying it may cause you to come back refreshed with new ideas for your research.

That time spent reading a how-to book or reference isn’t time wasted.



14 Responses

  1. Just finished a book, The Dead and Those About to Die. I would recommend it to anyone, whether your family was involved in WWII or not.

  2. Some historical fiction has helped me understand mining in Montana at the turn of the century, the World Wars, immigration, life in the “old” country, etc. Not just the “facts” but the impact on people – people like my people.

  3. My last book was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography,” Pamela Smith Hill, Editor. The research involved in the comparison of Laura’s autobiography and the stories of the Little House books was copious.

  4. I have just finished the Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux & The Lost Ancestor by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. Even though they are fiction, they both take the reader through the process of searching genealogical records, with mystery and suspense along the way. They were both recommended by the book club from Lisa Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast.

  5. I read at least part of a book every day. The last thing I do before I go to sleep is read at least a few pages of a novel. Some nights, I am so sleepy that i can manage just a chapter. And at other times, I can read dozens of pages.

    I also read books as part of my genealogical research. This happens at least a couple of times a week. Last evening, I read about 20 pages in Scharf’s wonderful history of Delaware, focusing on a town that I am reading. Today i brought “Those Good Gertrudes: A Social History of Women Teachers in America” home from the library. Another research project has me learning about needlework teachers in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and a Google search yielded the information that his book contains some information on the topic.

  6. I’m always reading a book. Sometimes 2 at a time. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t reading a book.

  7. I’m also always reading a book. I do not read electronic books. I do read blogs. I’m currently reading a How-to book on genealogy, even though I’ve read it before, I hope to pick up some hints that I missed before.

  8. I have been reading about 4-6 books a week since I was about 12. Currently, I have several research books on the go: The Plantation of Ulster, and the History of the Buell Family in England and in America. Among others… Luckily many historical books are being digitized, or are available.
    I literally cannot imagine people not reading books… 🙂

  9. When I hold a real paper book in my hands I feel a direct connection with the ancient people who made marks on clay tablets to save important information. I do not feel that same connection with words on a computer or e-reader screen. My house is crammed with real books which I revisit regularly. Digitized books are useful, but real books speak to me in a way that I would never give up—and often, those books help me understand the lives of my ancestors and give me ideas as to other sources of information.

  10. I just finished Linda Millers novel Logan, on 7/24. I am now reading Ernie’s America. The best of Ernie Pyle’s 1930 Travel Dispatches. I just got into the introduction by the David Nichols. My gut tells me this is going to be a great read. I have a stack of books on the floor by my bed, that hope to finish before the year end.

  11. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee last week. This week: A Blaze of Glory, A Novel of the Battle of Shiloh, by Jeff Shaara. My ggg grandpa and his sons lived in Lauderdale County, AL, just about twenty miles away. Some of the sons fought for the Union, others fought for the Confederacy. I don’t know if any were in the Battle of Shiloh, but I expect to know more about how all of my Civil War era ancestors lived, and some died, during that war.

  12. I am currently re-reading Patricia Law Hatcher’s “Locating Your Roots” and just finished “How To Do Everything Genealogy” by George G. Morgan. I’ve been researching for about 25 years but it was good for me to go back and see if there were any records that I hadn’t used. I love books and always carry one with me.

  13. I am constantly reading physical books. I have two in my backpack now (so I have a choice at lunch), two on the kitchen table and five on my library pile.

    That said, I have a book on order about the textile manufacturing mills of Kensington, Philadelphia which will help me understand the lives of my mill-working ancestors. It could be dry, but it’s real easy to skim through physical books, including index lookups, etc. Still haven’t gotten the knack of doing that with e-books.

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