In this exhibition, we celebrate the fiction Americans actually read—fiction we admire, fiction we love, fiction we pretend to ignore. The books on display are significant both as physical objects and as reminders of great stories. Taken as a whole, they provide a portrait of American reading habits over the last two centuries. The exhibition stems from the collecting efforts of Lillian Gary Taylor. During her lifetime, Mrs. Taylor assembled over 1,900 literary bestsellers. Her handwritten notebooks provide an engaging portrait of a collector who loved to read and who understood that, though the best lasts longest, literary merit is not the only measure of a book's importance.
This exhibition is sponsored by the family of Robert Coleman Taylor and Lillian Gary Taylor.