Two Harbors, Minn., father, son combo write book on Lake Superior agates
The agate-loving Lynch family is back at it again. The Two Harbors father-son duo of Bob and Dan Lynch have a new book out called "Agates of Lake Superior: Stunning Varieties and How They Are Formed."
The 224-page hardcover book is filled with more than 400 full-color photos of 29 agate varieties found in the Lake Superior region. The book combines scientific theory with the hobby of collecting agates to present readers with a more approachable, user-friendly way of learning about the scientific theories behind agates. "Our goal was to make it accessible," Dan said.
The two wanted to put together a book in that style because they felt so many books on agates were not comprehensive and hard for the casual agate hunter to understand. "There's a lot of ego in agates," Bob said of the many scientific theory books and photography books out there.
The book took about six months for Dan to write last year, but the real research and collection of rare agates began well before the two were approached by Adventure Publications to write a book. Bob Lynch, owner of Agate City in Two Harbors, has been collecting agates for about 25 years with such books in mind.
"He would find an agate and say 'This is a book agate' and put it away," Dan said.
And then there are the photographs. Bob purchased specialty photograph equipment so that each agate could be shot perfectly to show the different features in the best light. A microscope helped to photograph specific areas of each agate. Dan used the equipment to take thousands of pictures, which they then sorted through to pick the best ones.
Writing books on agates isn't anything new to this Two Harbors family. This is their sixth book to hit shelves. Last spring, Bob and Dan, along with Bob Lynch Jr., worked together to produce "Lake Superior Rocks & Minerals." That book made the Barnes & Noble regional top seller list and continues to sell well with every edition that is printed.
Agates have been a long-time interest for the family. Agate City has been in the family for nearly 50 years and Bob has owned the shop for 17 of those years. "It's a passion," Bob said. "They're not something that inaccessible."
5,000 copies were printed for the first edition of "Agates of Lake Superior." Bob said the publisher has seen the most pre-orders than they've ever had for any book. So far copies of the book are available at Agate City on Seventh Avenue (Highway 61) in Two Harbors. They're also available online at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.
Books will soon be distributed to other local bookstores and shops.