Pictorial history books flying off the shelves

December 03, 2010 at 9:18 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A pictorial history of St. Charles Parish that spans more than 300 years has become a hot item as Christmas approaches.

At first, the authors behind “St. Charles Parish, Louisiana - A Pictorial History,” ordered 2,500 books. Most of those are now gone and the three authors have had to put in an additional order for 1,500 more books.

They should arrive in mid-December.

“We have all been very pleased with how well the books are selling,” Marilyn Richoux, one of the authors, said. “We are close to running out, and we didn’t expect to have to order more so soon.”

Authors Joan Becnel, Suzanne Friloux,  Richoux and Fay Louque, who passed away last year, did all they could to make sure that “St. Charles Parish, Louisiana - A Pictorial History” will give readers a broader timeframe and timeline than most histories of the area. The book also provides numerous references and resources which history students and buffs might find beneficial.

Because of the book’s mixture of black and white photos and graphics, maps, historical documents, sketches and watercolors, residents have lined up at book signings across the parish to grab a copy, or more.

“A lot of people are buying multiple copies of the book,” Richoux said. “We have some people come in and get one book, then they are at our next signing buying four more. We have really been overwhelmed with the public’s response.”

Richoux said that all the authors have gotten positive feedback about the books, and have received many phone calls and thank you notes.

“A lot of them have told us that they get so excited when they see someone they know or a picture of a business that is no longer around,” Richoux said. “It has been very rewarding for us.”

Publishers told the authors that the books should sell for $50, but they are currently going for $20 a piece. Richoux said the low price is possible because of the many sponsors that have donated money for the printings.

“We wanted to make these books as affordable as possible so that everyone would be able to purchase them,” Richoux said. “Our sponsors have allowed the low price.”

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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