Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Whole Year Through: Bookcraft, 1958

The Whole Year Through: Bookcraft, 1958

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 21, 2012

Bookcraft – the No. 1 challenger to Deseret Book – carried quite a few titles on its list in 1958. Some made a big splash in the market and are probably still on the shelves of your parents or grandparents; some you’ve probably never heard of. Here they are —




























  1. Ah, Seek! Someone gave that to our family a few years after 1958–it was never as much fun as it should have been, and Monopoly and Risk and even Careers got a lot more use.

    Comment by Mark B. — December 21, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  2. Ardis, This is interesting is so many ways: historical, cultural, intellectual, even design and artistic. Do you know if anyone’s ever written a history of Bookcraft? Thanks again for a great, informative post.

    Comment by Gary Bergera — December 21, 2012 @ 9:09 am

  3. It amazes me how many of these I inherited from my aunt’s shelves a year ago. No Seek, though.

    Gary, the first time Bookcraft came up in a post, I wrote a little background for readers whose only LDS publisher has ever been Deseret Book. I had to google quite a bit to find anything tangible for even that paragraph, and didn’t find any suggestion of even so much as a journal article. What there was all seemed to be stray mentions in people’s memoirs about their own early connections to or dealings with Bookcraft.

    And I’m glad you mentioned the design. There’s an emotional appreciation for the past that comes from seeing the layouts that I don’t think we’d get from a typical annotated book list.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 21, 2012 @ 9:29 am

  4. Here’s what little I found about Bookcraft’s origins, prefacing a similar collection of advertisements from 1954.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 21, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  5. I don’t think I have read any of these, not having any history with the church that goes back more than 50 years. I would love a copy of About Prayer and Christmas Silhouettes.

    Comment by Julia — December 21, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  6. I remember Seek as well, but we wore out several Risk and Monopoly games over the years. I also recognize many of these titles from my folks or my wife’s family bookshelves. In fact, a few of them are still there at my father-in-law’s home. Leadership by Sterling W. Sill, both David O. McKay volumes, and and of course, the ever popular Mormon Doctrine. I like the picture of BRM in the bow tie, but it looks like one of those pretied bow ties. Real men tie their own (I own a couple, and find an excuse to wear them maybe two or three times a year).

    Comment by kevinf — December 21, 2012 @ 11:21 am

  7. A prized 1st edition of Mormon Doctrine for only $5. What a steal. The only other book that I recognize with staying power is McKay’s “Gospel Ideals.” “Seek” and the long-width Books of Remembrance deserve a special place in mormon pop-culture history.

    And finally, the “One Cumorah” book I found interesting, as I thought the “two Cumorah” theory was first popularized by John Sorenson in the 1980s. Interesting.

    Comment by The Other Clark — December 21, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  8. If I were Dr. Who I would get in the TARDIS with all the Lincoln 5-spots I could cash out of my life’s savings and go back to buy up all of that one book. Then I would take them back to the Pre-Adamites and let them read them – or maybe the Daleks.

    Comment by Grant — December 21, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  9. I ran into Frederick Piercy when I was doing the Cyrus Wheelock project. It looks like a bound copy of his book is worth between $85 and $395 now, but that’s the reprint, not the original!

    (Of course you can download it free from Google Books if you don’t want to shell out $85-$395.)

    Comment by Amy T — December 21, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  10. And a link… (Route from Liverpool to the Great Salt Lake Valley)

    Comment by Amy T — December 21, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

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