Book cover showing illuminated open book with letters leaping in air. Marian D. Schwartz


Benjamin Clymer was a farmer whose wife taught him to read when he was twenty-three. Devastated after her untimely death and the death of their young son, he abandoned the farm and took a job as a woodcarver in a furniture factory. Alone in a room in a boarding house, books transported him into other people’s worlds, allowing him to briefly forget his grief.

Years later Benjamin had an idea for a memorial to the family he lost. He went to see an attorney, Charles Gustafson, to have his will drawn. The attorney listened with amazement to Benjamin’s plan for his bequest and drew the will, insisting on a clause that Benjamin disliked. Without the clause, he wouldn’t have had a weapon in an unexpected battle to honor the terms of Benjamin’s most unusual gift.

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