I couldn't come up with an answer for this one because even though there are a few books I love which are no longer in print, I own a copy of them. This got me thinking about which book would cause me the most heartache to lose. That is an easy answer: The Ellert Family Bible or, as it actually says on the spine of the book, Christkatholische Handpostille.
The book was apparently rebound in the 70's. It has that Encylopedia Britannica look to it.
My great-great Grandpa gave this is my great-Grandma in March of 1910. We know this because she wrote the date on the inside cover. Below it she wrote:
got married April 4th, 1910 - my lucky day when you said yes. Father Haar ( maybe Haas?) - Do you Henry Ellert take Anna Harpel for better or worse until death do you part? - I do.
Monday after Easter,
St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church at Glencoe
Anna's record of the day she became an Ellert.
Anna's record of the children's births. Raymond was my grandpa.
The book itself was printed in 1908 in Blackletter and contains a list of all the Saint's Days as well as all the moving holidays (e.g. Easter) from 1908 until 1922. At the back, there is an appendix about raising German-Catholic children in a non-German speaking (and perhaps non-Catholic) country.
The front page
The Saint's Days
The book came into my possession after my grandpa passed away in 2006. It was found while the aunts were going through the household items as the house was to be sold. I was the only member of the family who spoke any German and so the decision was made that I should have it. Given my love of history, it was probably the best keepsake I could have received.
The start of the Bible. It's a pretty impressive title page!
The book is filled with illustrations for key events.
The irony is not lost on me that the Bible ended up in the hands of the one family member who uses the term 'agnostic' so that I don't offend the extended family although 'athiest' is more apt, but I also know that no one else in the family would love it as much as I do. It holds a place of great honour in my library collection. It is irreplaceable and I don't know what I would do if I was to ever lose it.