I love to read Adirondackia; I always have. My mother often commented, "When Donny has his nose in a book, the house could burn down around him and he would not notice it!" Remember, in my school days I was the only boy in the Library Club at Northville Central School; I had a thing for my friends - the books.
Other readers often ask me if I have read the latest "best seller." No, I would never read a "best seller" unless it had a title such as "Gone With the Adirondack Wind," or "Uncle Tom's Adirondack Cabin." There is far too much Adirondack literature to read in my lifetime to add the reading of other publications.
My Adirondack c4000 volume library, acquired over some 50 years, contains most of the rare volumes of Adirondack literature, and a vast majority of the Adirondack books written during my lifetime - many with the original autographs from the Adirondack authors. I have read them all and continue to read others that come along. The library also contains the old maps and promotional materials printed over the years.
Magazines also are a part of my Adirondack reading obsession. I have Adirondack Life from the original issue, Volume I, Number 1, of Winter, 1970, when there were four issues per year. New York?Sportsman was part of my reading since the day it was the York magazine up until it merged out west. The Barkeater was good reading while it lasted. The NYS Conservationist has been a good source of information since my boyhood. Add the rare volumes of American Heritage, Harpers, Petersons, Forest and Stream, among others, and it is apparent there is additional, rich, Adirondack readings to be found.
Weekly newspaper from the Adirondack hamlets, such as the Hamilton County Express, have been another good source of Adirondack readings. Pamphlets and booklets of Adirondack topics can be added to a full library of reading. And, today we have the Adirondack Explorer newspaper which publishes six bimonthly issues plus and Outdoor Guide each year. Open the May/June 2012 issue and turn to page four; it is the page that features a short biography of an Adirondacker. There I am - 78-year-old Don Williams, born at Loon Lake in Chestertown.
The last question in the Explorer had to do with "If I were in charge of the Park." If space had permitted, I would have added the need for co-ops to help the local economy. Picture a maple syrup co-op, boiling the sap gathered from a hundred Adirondack sugar bushes, or a honey co-op, processing the product of the bees from a hundred Adirondack hives. Bees were once found in every hollow Adirondack tree. And, why doesn't every good waterway in the populated areas have a public beach, maintained and life-guarded; according to nationwide studies, beaches are the biggest draw for tourists.
The Adirondack Explorer has been part of my Adirondack reading since its beginnings. It is a welcomed source for Adirondack plants and animals, the pros and cons of the issues, history, art, useful ads, great colored photographs, hikes and treks, book reviews, and anything else Adirondackia. Add this to my other readings and it is easy to see-Adirondack reading can become a "full time job!"