Can you guess which four books are found in Lancaster County Amish homes, according to one Amish informant?
The latest Scribbler column at Lancaster Online looks into the topic.
Scribbler Jack Brubaker was told by a local Amish person that you can count on finding these four books in each Lancaster County Amish home:
- The Bible – The Amish use the Martin Luther German version and King James Version for English (and sometimes the NIV Bible)
- Church Directory of the Lancaster County Amish and Outlying Daughter Settlements – The church directory is a common book featuring listings of church members, their children, birthdates, occupations, church leadership, and church district maps. This book would include not only the Lancaster settlement but other settlements in PA and other states. Lancaster’s directory is unusual (and to be honest, a bit unhandy to use) as it’s divided into listings in one volume, and maps in a second tome.
- Address Book of the Lancaster County Amish and Daughter Settlements – This shows you where to send your correspondence, birthday, sympathy, get-well cards for card showers, etc. Put together each year by a woman named Katie Beiler and published by the Pequea Bruderschaft Amish Library (Gordonville).
- Lancaster County Business Directory – This is full of ads for Amish businesses in the settlement (but not only Amish ones), and is available for free distributed via local shops, or online here (link updated with 2023 edition). You can also read more in our profile of the LCBD here. Need a welder, engine repair guy, or fabric supplier? You’ll find it in the LCBD.
More than Four
Are these the only books you’ll consistently find in Amish homes?
I think the list is a good bit longer than four, at least of books you’d be very likely to find in an Amish home.
I would add a few more, including:
- Martyrs Mirror – Stories of Christian martyrs throughout history, particularly Anabaptists (the Dirk Willems story is the best known of these)
- Devotional Reader In Meiner Jugend (containing the Dordrecht Confession, prayers, and formularies for marriage and baptism)
- 1001 Questions & Answers on the Christian Life
- Songbooks (Ausbund; English-language hymnals)
What else could be added to this list?