Hooked – well and truly hooked! – on books

May 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm (books, Film and television, Uncategorized)

Last night, we finally got around to watching the “deloused” recording of one of our favorite programs, CBS Sunday Morning. What a treat was in store for Your Faithful Blogger! In a segment called “For the Books,” the perennially congenial Bill Geist visited Lloyd and Lenore Dickman. This unassuming farm couple from central Wisconsin have a collection of books that fills twelve buildings, including a former slurry tank (a structure that stores manure) and a disused schoolhouse dating back to the 1800’s.

The purpose of the segment was to entertain viewers with facts concerning the extreme unlikelihood of such an enormous quantity of books being housed in so unique a manner. The Dickmans are booksellers, but they seem sublimely indifferent to the exigencies of the business. A potential customer can be reasonably certain to gain access to this hoard on a Saturday, but on any other day of the week, you just have to hope you can find a Dickman somewhere on this vast tract who might be free to let you in, show you around, and maybe even sell you something.

As I said above, this segment was about the sheer strangeness of all those books gathered in that remote place. But, almost inadvertently I think, it was also a portrait of a marriage. Lenore Dickman obtained a doctorate after she was married – Lloyd supported her efforts wholeheartedly. When, after a hiatus, he wanted to go back to farming, she then supported him. Lloyd and Lenore Dickman come across as two people who, on the face of it, have little in common. What they do have is mutual respect, loyalty, and love. It appears to be a quietly companionable bond, built to last – something for young couples to aspire to.

The Dickmans keep a pretty low profile. Googling them produced only this video segment:


  1. Kay said,

    I saw that piece on Sunday morning. Caught the end of it but thought that their “bookshop” was very unique. They kept saying it was in the manure barn or something. Wondered about the smells. They did seem like a lovely couple though. They talked about her methods of displaying books, not according to Mr. Dewey (which is good with me) and also how many books their car would hold (something like 1500?). The gentleman said that you just can’t have too many books. I wholeheartedly agree and also agree about the level of commitment shown between these two people. Very touching!

  2. despondentisthmus said,

    Some sad news to pass on. LLoyd suffered a stroke over the winter, and he’s currently in a nursing home. We’ve heard the outlook is not good. Lenore’s been by his side during this ordeal.

    • Roberta Rood said,

      I am sorry to hear about Lloyd. My prayers are with him, and with Lenore. They seem like wonderful people.

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