Vintage Books – The Kingdom of Books (1927)

Kingdom of Books_001 (Cover)

Kingdom of Books_006 (spine)


Title: The Kingdom of Books

Author(s):  William Dana Orcutt

Illustrator: Various

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

Year: 1927

Description: Brown cloth, gold gilt cover, top edges gold gilt.

As a bibliophile, I couldn’t get away from this book. It was also written by a bibliophile about the history of printing, publishing, binding, and reading. Basically all the things that fascinate me!

The book itself is also just pretty to look at, if you can’t tell in the images. For being 90 years old, it’s in pristine condition and still has the tissue guard over the title page. If there is, like, an ideal size/weight/texture of a book, this one is pretty close. You know when you hold a book in two hands and it just feels right? It just fits comfortably? This one is like that.

The text inside is also nice and big for easy reading, not to mention it’s chock full of illustrations to demonstrate book things, such as the “Prime Ministers To the Book” like Aldus Manutius (pictured) and their contributions to book printing and publishing.

There are also detailed descriptions of the different types of designs and where they originated. The Grolier binding, probably the inspiration for this book’s cover, is pictured here, too. Though there are more and more pages of other ornate book covers over the centuries, all of which are brilliant. (I may revisit this post to share more pictures of these, since I doubt they can be found online anywhere.)

One of my favorite, albeit tiny, things is the font throughout the book. I’ve seen this before in vintage texts, but I don’t know the reason or the name for it (yet). It’s the style of the Cs and Ts when they’re next to each other in a given word. For example, the words “Distinctly” and “Abstract” and “Exacting” in the photo I took of a random page. You can see the top of the T curling back to the crown of the C. If anyone knows anything about the why’s or when’s for this, I’d love to know!

Kingdom of Books_006


$0.99 Kindle Download for Historical Novella, “That Dame” by Di Roach

It’s the Prohibition Era and a young woman secretly divides her time between two men– a young detective and a notorious gangster.

When the one man who serves as a link between her two lifestyles turns up dead, she becomes the prime suspect.

What will be the consequences of her double life when the two men of her affections find out about each other?

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Help support by leaving a review on the Amazing Kindle page.

Amazon Kindle – That Dame by Di Roach

That Dame 2nd Ed (Cover-Front) Digest Print (small)

Vintage Books – Don’t Worry Nuggets (1899)

In light of the collective anxiety in the world this year, I felt this book was appropriate to share. It is neat.


Green cloth with gold gilt. Dimensions are about 5.5″ x 3.25″


Title: Don’t Worry Nuggets

Author(s):  Epicetus, Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Eliot, Robert Browning; Compiled by Jeanne G. Pennington

Illustrator: N/A

Publisher: Fords, Howard, & Hubert

Year: 1899

Description: Green cloth, top edges gold gilt

The title caught my eye, but I was biased to buy it when I saw two of my favorite authors included in it (Emerson and Robert Browning). The book is also tiny. It’s 5.5″ x 3.25″, ideal for keeping in your pocket. You know, in case you need a nugget of don’t-worry to nom on when you get brain hungry.

There is a great “Notes” section at the beginning from the compiler, Jeanne G. Pennington, where she explains her reason for compiling it and emphasizing the positive messages that we still need to be reminded of even 118 years later.

A quick (and admittedly lazy) Google search on Pennington didn’t yield much other than the fact that she did a few of these “Nugget” books on varying topics. Maybe I’ll come across more and get a collection going!


Title page features Mr. Emerson himself, the big brain behind the “Transparent Eyeball” and “Self-Reliance.”


Towards the end of the book is this page of reviews and description of the book itself. It was worth a whole 40 cents.


A Plethora of Vintage Books

Welly, welly, well!

The last time I posted about vintage books I mentioned that I had bought it at an independent bookstore. Since then I have been hired into and working at said bookstore and it has changed my life. My love of the vintage books has been enabled and I get to handle and sell these things with my own hands.

Inevitably I’ve come across and even purchased a lot of these antique beauties. I love them so much I just have to share them here. I’m not necessarily here to educate or click-bait, I just need a place to gush. While first editions and old copies of popular and known authors are always awesome, I have a passion for those little known and generally worthless books that time and collectors don’t care about. I can’t save them all, but every once in awhile I come across one that I feel compelled to save and keep safe. (I feel like I run a “book shelter” sometimes.)

I’m going to make an effort this year to post more regularly on here, to showcase some of these cuties and beauties of paper and ink. Even if no one sees, I can always look back on this as my own digital scrapbook.

Self-publishing and the snobbery issue

This was very motivating and well put! For those who are self-published or traditionally published.

Alison Williams Writing


I work with all different types of authors, those who are hoping to secure a publishing deal, those who are chasing the self-publishing dream and even a couple who have gone on to secure a deal with one of the big five (or six, or whatever it is). Some of these writers are brilliant, some are really talented, some are steady, dependable story tellers who can spin a good yarn, some aren’t that great, some have accepted help and advice and have improved in leaps and bounds, a few I have advised to go right back to the drawing board and there have been a handful who I have had to advise that writing is perhaps not the path for them (this is at the sample edit stage – I never take a penny from authors in this situation).

You might be surprised to know that most of the authors…

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NaNoWriMo was hell and I can’t wait to do it again (or what I learned NOT to do in writing)

So, the Fall of 2015 was my very first NaNoWriMo.

There were a lot of old pros there, but I figured it was doable for me as a newbie. I mean, 50,000 words in 30 days  sounded like a challenge for sure, but with goal setting and pounding your face on the keyboard, it could be done. I was at least right about that part.

The point of NaNoWriMo is to get that first draft done, to write forward without looking back until it’s done (meaning no editing while you work on it). It’s already a given that this draft will basically be garbage. (Every writer needs to accept that about first drafts sooner or later.)

I thought it would be fun to go into it with a simple beginning, no end planned, and absolutely no planned steps in the middle. This was a mistake. (I want to clarify that this was a mistake for me personally. This is a great tactic for other writers, but in my experience, my best work comes from a little planning ahead.) Long story short, I was left with a garbage first draft that was probably 10% recyclables and 90% non-biodegradable filth.

It was fun though, let’s not exclude that fact. I had a blast. Even if I can’t do much with anything that I wrote, I can at least continue working on the premise to make it something worthwhile. (This particular story idea is something I had been brainstorming on for about a decade, and finally I know how to attack it. It’s not worth making a second draft, though.)

Next time around, I will be doing what I scoffed at last time: Outline. Starting now in August, I am going to begin planning my attack, getting my notes together as well as a chapter-by-chapter outline, or at the very least the different acts of the story plotted, or even more very least, have a beginning and an end. Having a destination helps much.

I’ll probably take all of this back after November by writing a post about how unhelpful outlining was. But, hey, it’s better than having writer’s constipation and not writing anything at all, right?