Readers are rewarded
Library now home to a "world-class collection"
December 15, 2022 | View PDF
LEABURG: From his base at Merchandise Mart (now the Twitter Building) in San Francisco, Tom Ripp traveled the world representing firms like Sony and SECO. That meant he had a lot of free time on planes or in hotel rooms. He filled it by reading and since starting in 1957 Ripp has amassed one of the world’s largest collections of books on angling.
“The history of angling literature is massive,” he told a crowd at the dedication of the Angler’s Roost room at the Leaburg Libray last Saturday. For example, he noted the first book on the subject was written in Herefordshire, England in 1496 - at the start of the printing revolution. The author was the abyss of St. Albans, who fished to supply food for her nunnery..
Another notable author, Isaak Walton, wrote “The Compleat Angler” in 1653. That book, Ripp noted, has become one of the most edited books in existence, “second only to the King James version of the Bible.”
His donation - of 560 volumes - contains works ranging from “how to’s” to etchings or photography or “just beautiful literature. It’s a classic collection, with about two-thirds of the books out of print,” he said.
And there’s more to make it a truly world-class attraction. Helping fill the shelves that line the walls of the new Angler’s Roost room are 60 more books from the estate of Kevin Winter that were donated by his wife Deanna. Those additions round out the offerings with contemporary editions that “take somebody right up to today,” Ripp said.
Located in a separate room in the Leaburg Library, the collections are housed in a space that includes an easy chair, murals, dioramas, and display cases.
“I would like to see this library become a little pilot light for the wonderful world of reading,” Ripp said. “I’m thrilled that I will now be able to share this with you.”