One of the last things I heard Linda Adams say was “I just love the smell of a freshly printed book!”
It was a little over a month ago when I delivered a copy of the book she’d recently co-edited for the Living Faith series, Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand by Thomas F. Rogers. I watched with satisfaction as she thumbed through the pages, inspected the binding, examined the font, and turned to each of the black and white images of Tom’s paintings. She remarked how different a book always seems from the manuscript pages editors spent countless hours scouring—it doesn’t feel entirely real until you hold that bound copy in your hands, feel the heft of it, breathe it in.
Linda was being treated for cancer during much of the Expand project as she worked together with me, Tom, and her co-editor Jonathan Langford. In spite of health struggles, she remained a methodical and deeply interested editor who brought decades of experience along with deep personal faith to the work. I believe Expand meant a lot to her not only because she’d been a longtime personal friend of Tom’s, but also because the book so frequently speaks to people who don’t always feel comfortable in the Church’s mainstream. Linda was a single parent for over forty years while professionally teaching, editing, and mentoring. She became very well-known in LDS publishing circles and in the Mormon History Association community. She provided some needed friendship and advice when the Maxwell Institute began developing the Living Faith series in 2012.
Linda peacefully passed away on Sunday afternoon, July 17. We are grateful for the time she spent working with the Institute on Tom’s book and on a few projects we hope to complete in the future. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends, family, loved ones, and with Linda herself, who we expect is having her own blessed reunions at the moment, perhaps bringing the smell of freshly printed books in her wake.