Here is a fun hardcover book from 2000 celebrating 100 years of Lionel Trains. This is the kind of book you can pick up and put down and pick up again.
From the Publisher:
Happy 100th birthday to a true American classic! Celebrate the hundred-year anniversary of one of the most beloved toys of the 20th-century: the timeless Lionel train. Other playthings have left their mark on the pages of American history and some still evoke a misty-eyed nostalgia, but no toy has had as dramatic an impact as these miniature cars, tracks, and accessories. Their magic makes children wide-eyed with joy at Christmas and continues to inspire collectors of all ages. Enjoy the history of Lionel's rise to greatness in a splendid oversize tribute, featuring breathtaking images of perfectly preserved trains from every era, including some of the most famous and rare models, as well as reproductions of legendary catalogs and ads. A wealth of enlightening detail about individual pieces puts them in their proper place in the total Lionel output. The definitive tribute to a most cherished American institution.