Reaney Days

Reaney Days

Monday, April 20, 2020

Are you a fan of fans?

Among our collections here at 19 Kingsbury Avenue are some lovely hand-held fans.   Ostrich feathers were very popular in the 1820’s while the ‘30s and ‘40s saw some romantic confections embossed with gold.

Southern belles of the 1860’s were most fond of the “autograph” fan.  Years later, in their dotage, they could look back at the names and remember those special soirees of their youth. 

Throughout the late 1800s fans were created from hand painted silks and satins edged with lace.  Gauze, crepe and vellum were also popular choices with the ever-present ostrich feather.  Fans were also crafted from ivory, mother of pearl and sandalwood.

Besides serving a practical purpose of keeping cool, fans had their own language; the language of flirtation.  For example, if you snapped it open and shut, you were proclaiming the gentleman was being cruel.  If, on the other hand, you carried it in your left hand, you wanted to make a gentleman's acquaintance . 
As the 19th century drew to a close, the gracefulness and mystique of the flutter fan was soon lost.  

The photos show an overall look at part of the collection with close-up looks of a child’s fan, a fan with an embedded mirror so ladies could keep track of their potential gentleman callers, a beautiful paper fan with a pastoral design, a paper fan with a silver leaf design and, finally, a gorgeous mother of pearl fan decorated with a gold bird and vine motif from Cuba.   
There is also a photo from the Victorian National Trust of the United Kingdom offering a glimpse into the language of the fan.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Tell Your Story

Dear patrons, friends, family and neighbors near and far,

We find ourselves experiencing an interesting and trying time.  Did you ever think we would find ourselves in this place?  I certainly didn’t.
Yesterday as I sat munching my way through a bowl of Cheerios for Easter Dinner it occurred to me that in the past several weeks, and who knows for how long in the future, Covid-19 has impacted us all one way or the other. 
From that impact, we all have stories to be told and preserved for the next generation about this time in our lives. 
As the “wordiest” place in town, who better to collect those stories then the library? 

To that end I have created an email,, and invite you to share your stories.  We’ll print them on our end, preserve them in a scrap book for future generations, and someday, gather together for a community reading.

Please, don’t tell me you can’t write. You can.  Everyone has a story to tell. 
Once you write the first sentence, I guarantee you a paragraph or two will surely emerge. 

As you think about what you want to share, consider some of these points.

Have you had to become your child’s teacher?  How’s that working out?

Are you on the front lines in health care or other emergency services?  Are there days you wish you had chosen another career?

Have you had to follow arrows on the floor while grocery shopping? What was the atmosphere like; respectful or frenzied? 

What is it like to be a business owner in this climate? 

What is it like to be in local government where directives can change day by day?

Why did you buy all that toilet paper?

Are you afraid? For yourself? Your children? Other family members?

What emotions are you experiencing; boredom, anger, frustration, despair, resignation?

What do you do to stay positive?

How do you relax?

How have you been handling the mundane chores of everyday life: doctor’s appointments, servicing your car, going to the bank and post office?

Easter has come and gone, proms and graduations are in flux, birthdays, weddings and yes, even funerals are no longer “normal”.    How have you been coping with these missed milestones and family gatherings?  Do you Facetime, leave gifts on the porch, or quietly mourn what was or may never be?

What do you miss the most about life before Covid-19?

Do you think you have changed, for better or worse, because of this experience?

At home I have a box of letters my dad wrote to my mom when he was in the Army during WWII.  Every now and again I’ll take out a handful and read them.  Not only have I learned a great deal of the history of the time, but I have also experienced that history from my dad’s perspective.  

We find ourselves waging a very different kind of battle, but the myriad of emotions are the same.  

Yes, you can write and someday your children and grandchildren will study the pandemic of 2020, and your writings will give them a perspective no history book will have. 

All are invited to share; no matter where you are, if you are reading this post
please email your stories to    

Dawn Lamphere
April 13, 2020

Monday, April 6, 2020

Building a Community of Readers One Book At A Time

Dear Page Turners!
Greetings from 19 Kingsbury Avenue; Miss Marge, Miss Samantha, Mr. Dan and I miss you all greatly.

Please find below a list of page turning books, both fiction and non-fiction, which have been used in our various book club gatherings throughout the years. 

The purpose of book club is to select books that you may not normally read; books that take you out of your comfort zone and make you think of subjects and situations you have never considered before.

Years ago we read Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.  When book club day arrived, one of our patrons, a lovely lady always elegantly dressed, who had lived on Long Island for years, announced that she felt dirty and dusty from having read the book. 

As it turned out, our guest facilitator was a psychologist from Albany who had spent time in Texas where she had collected, of all things, antique barbed wire. 

The group enjoyed a wonderful discussion that day.  No matter what our circumstances and life’s walk, we all came together, breathed the dust, smelled the sweat of men and cattle, and heard the creak of saddle leather; immersed in McMurtry’s cattle driving novel. 

Yes, the physical library is closed and while we might not be able to turn some pages as we stay in place, we can still swipe them!  Simply click Libby/Overdrive under quick links. 

Happy reading, stay well and continue to wash your hands like a surgeon heading to the ER.   

Cold Mountain
Charles Frazier

The Hungry Ocean
Linda Greenlaw

The Color of Water
James McBride

Under the Tusdan Sun
Frances Mayes

The Buffalo Soldier
Chris Bohjalian

Peace Like a River
Leif Enger

Richard Russon

Red Tent
Anita Diamant

The Hours
Michael Cunningham

Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle
Stop Café
Frannie Flagg

The Davinci Code
Dan Brown

Mystic River
Dennis Lehane

North River
Pete Hamill

Falling Man
Don DeLillo

The Other Boleyn Girl
Phillipa Gregory

Tin Roof Blowdown
James Lee Burke

The Passion of Artemisia
Susan Vreeland

Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen

Catcher in the Rye
J D Salinger

Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion

The Reserve
Russell Banks

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie
Mary Ann Shafer & Annie Barrows

Copper Sun
Sharon Draper

Kent Haruf

Tall Grass
Sandra Dallas

On the Waterfront
Budd Schulberg

All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque

Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Kate Atkinson

Dispatches From the Edge
Anderson Cooper

Ron Rash

The Given Day
Dennis Lehane

Wake of Forgiveness
Bruce Machart

Story of Edgar Sawtelle
David Wroblewski

The Ha-Ha
David King

Killer Angels
Michael Shaara

Gregory Maguire

Gone Girl
Gillian Fllynn

Richard Russo

Sandra Cisneros

Little Giant of Aberdeen County
Tiffany Baker

My Name is Mary Sutter
Robin Oliveira

Chris Cleave

Still Alice
Lisa Genova

Orphan Train
Christina Baker Kline

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford

Change of Heart
Jodie Picoult

J R Moehringer

Traitor’s Wife
Alison Pataki

Louise Erdrich

Blood and Beauty
Sara Dunant

The Martian
Andy Weir

Geraldine Brooks

Willa Cather
My Antonia

The Kite Runner
Kahled Hosseini

The Dirty Life
Kristin Kimball

Shoeless Joe
W P Kinsella

To Kill A Mockingbird
Harper Lee

The Time Traveler’s Wife
Audrey Niffenegger

The Falls
Joyce Carol Oates

Bel Canto
Ann Patchett

Sarah’s Key
Tatiana de Rosnay

Following Atticus
Tom Ryan

The Help
Kathryn Stockett

Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf

The Book Thief
Marcus Zuzak

News of the World
Pauletter Jiles

Marsh King’s Daughter
Karen Dionne

New Boy
Tracy Chevalier

World’s Strongest Librarian
Josh Hanagarne

Life After Life
Kate Atkinson

Soul Stories
Gary Zukav

Christmas in Plains
Jimmy Carter

Skipping Christmas
John Grisham

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Barbara Kingsolver

The Art of Racing In the Rain
Garth Stein

Where We Belong
Emily Griffin

Iron House
John Hart

Imperfect Birds
Anne Lamott

Don’t Sing At the Table
Adriana Trigiani

The Christmas Box
Richard Paul Evans

Ayann Hirsi Ali

Amazing Grace
Kathleen Norris

Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl
Anne Frank

An Invisible Thread
Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

Marek Halter

Defending Jacob
William Landay

Lauren Hillenbrand

Song of Willow Frost
Jamie Ford

Are Your There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Judy Blume

Proof of Heaven
Eben Alexander

The Road Less Traveled
M. Scott Peck

First Phone Call From Heaven
Mitch Albom

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
Elisabeth Robinson

The Things They Carried
Tim O’Brien

Pay It Forward
Catherine Ryan Hyde

Kaaterskill Falls
Allegra Goodman

Christmas, Present
Jacquelyn Mitchard

Three Cups of Tea
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

The Lord Is My Shepherd
Harold S. Jushner

The Shack
William P. Young
Called Out By Darkness
Anne Rice

Have A Little Faith
Mitch Albom

Amish Grace
Donald Kraybill

Faith Club
Rayna Idelby

Keeping Faith
Jodi Picoult

A Year of Living Biblically
A J Jacobs

The Race
Richard North Patterson

The Shop on Blossom Street
Debbie Macomber

Cage of Stars
Jacquelyn Mitchard

Change of Heart
Jodi Picoult

For the Roses
Julie Garwood

False Accusations
Alan Jacobson

Robert B. Parker

Made in the USA
Billie Letts

Plain Truth
Jodi Picoult

Lonesome Dove
Larry McMurtry