Here are a few of the reference books in my collection. Most of these are early 20th century, although "The Big Toast Book" is mid-century and the college handbook is from my college days which started in the 70's and ended in the 90's.
I found these two books together in a thrift store. They are very small, less than five inches high and jam packed with information. Pitfalls in English is very much what the title says. It's about the common little errors to avoid while writing or speaking the English language.
Everyday Sayings is a little history book about the common sayings of the time, for instance, "mind your p's and q's" which refers to pints and quarts being consumed at the tavern. I can cover them more in detail in another blog.
These are some of my dictionaries and encyclopedias from the early 20th century.
Also on this shelf is "The Big Toast Book". It is what it says and contains toasts for all occasions.
The Hodges/Harbrace College Handbook replaced the old Harcourt Brace or Harbrace handbooks that were considered to be the right arm of most writers. They were a must have item on any writers bookshelf, along with a good standard Webster's Dictionary and Roget's Thesaurus. None of my classes required this book, but I required it and still use it.
How can you not love this title? The book truly contains all three. I'm not at all sure WHY it contains all three, but it does. Inside the first pages are the Atlas, then some Hymn pages and then the dictionary. After the dictionary it continues with more Hymns and then some more Atlas pages. Odd combination, but overall a nice little book. When I can get someone to help me I will take a picture of the inside pages. They are brittle so I cannot do it alone. I love, love, love this book for its title alone.
I would have liked to go into more detail, but man....the blogs are just getting lame the last few days. My cafe is taking all my time. Starting a business isn't easy, you know.