What We’re Taking to the Fair

We attend several book fairs each year, and the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is a definite favorite. Several days in sunny St. Petersburg, thousands of book lovers thronging the aisles, pulled from one booth to the next by the most interesting, beautiful, and rarest books the community of antiquarian booksellers has to offer…in short, it’s dreamy. Here’s a peek at just how wondrous it is!

So that’s it! We’re running away to join the fair! Here’s a look at what’s in our knapsacks.



Click through this picture for more of this beautiful book.

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

With 12 stunning full-color plates and numerous black and white illustrations throughout by Arthur Rackham, Tales from Shakespeare is a wonderful example of the delightful work of a master of illustration and a leader of the golden age of literary illustration.







Click through to see the stunning painting hiding in the fore-edge!

A Round Of Days Described In Original Poems By Some Of Our Most Celebrated Poets, And In Pictures by Eminent Artists, Engraved By The Brothers Dalziel  

A fore-edge painting of a pastoral Mediterranean village graces this beautifully bound mid-19th century title from the prominent Victorian era engraving operation of the Brothers Dalziel.






Click through for Frost’s signature.

North of Boston by Robert Frost 

A truly lovely collection of Frost’s poetry, signed by the poet, with several of his best loved poems, including “Mending Wall,” “After Apple-Picking,” and “The Death of the Hired Man.”





Click through for more pictures of this obscure work.

The Dragon In Shallow Waters by Vita Sackville-West 

A lesser known work by Vita Sackville-West, most famous for her exuberant aristocratic life, her love affair with Virginia Woolf, and as the model for the title character of Woolf’s Orlando.






Click through to see the signatures.

True Travellers, A Tramps Opera in Three Acts by W. H. Davies 

A limited edition copy, one of 100 signed by both the author and illustrator William Nicholson, of the wonderful play by the poet and original “supertramp” W. H. Davies, whose time spent hopping trains and hitchiking across the U.K. and U.S. informs this “tramps opera.”




Click through to see more of this gorgeous binding and its stunning plates.

Beauty: Illustrated Chiefly by an Analysis and Classification of Beauty in Woman by Alexander Walker 

You may remember this beauty from an earlier entry on our blog, 19th Century Beauty For Sale. We’re still in love with its luxurious burgundy leather, its lavish gilt decoration, and the many lovely plates by Henry Howard, a professor of painting at the Royal Academy, depicting many nude studies of the female form.







Click through to see more of this rare Vonnegut gem!

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut

A personal favorite by one of our favorite authors: only 25 to 30 advance review copies were produced of Vonnegut’s first book, of which this is one.







Click through for more of this handsome example of the work of the great philosopher.

Thus Spake Zarathustra A Book For All And None by Friedrich Nietzsche

A very attractive early English copy of the famed philosophical novel by the philosopher and cultural critic.








Click through for the whole, glorious set.

Audubon’s Birds of America (The Audubon Society’s Baby Elephant Folio) with Ornithological Biography, or an Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America (7 volumes) by  Roger Tory and Virginia Marie Peterson and Waldemar H. Fries

This is another beauty we featured on the blog in A Field Guide to Ornithological Eye Candy. A set of 7 volumes all handsomely leather bound and celebrating the work of John James Audubon, “The American Woodsman,” signed by the royal family of American bird identification, Roger Tory and Virginia Marie Peterson.



Click through to see the mysterious binding!

The Subtyl Historyes and Fables of Esope. Translated out of Frensshe in to Englysshe By William Caxton at Westmynstre in the yere of oure Lorde. mcccc. lxxxiii. by Aesop

Bound in handsome, unmarked leather, which happens to be just as mysterious as the book itself. The colophon tells of 200 copies printed and bound at the Grabhorn Press in San Francisco, but no number accompanies this volume, which appears unfinished in binding. A curious and beautiful book, with colored title woodcut, featured in the picture, and initials in color by Valenti Angelo.



We hope to see you at the fair March 13th through 15th! We encourage you to like and follow the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair on Facebook as well as its new companion the SunLit Festival, which will be hosting several literary events during the fair, including a literary pub crawl through St. Pete!

Literary Love Songs to Woo Your Valentine

Your friends at Underground Books have you covered this Valentine’s Day with seven literary love songs with which to serenade your lucky valentine and four songs with which to console yourself should things not have gone so well with your last valentine… From bookish lyrics to lyrics straight from the book, we hope you enjoy these as much as we do! Scroll to the bottom to listen to the whole playlist.

For Wooing:

The Book of Love by The Magnetic Fields

“The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts and figures
and instructions for dancing
but I, I love it when you read to me
and you, you can read me anything”


“Wrapped Up In Books” by Belle and Sebastian 

“We’ve got a fantasy affair
We didn’t get wet, we didn’t dare
Our aspirations, are wrapped up in books
Our inclinations are hidden in looks”


My Ántonia by Emmylou Harris and Dave Matthews

“Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.” ― Willa Cather, My Ántonia


Open Book by Cake

“She’s writing a novel.
She’s writing, she’s weaving,
Conceiving a plot.
It quickens, it thickens.
You can’t put it down now.”


The Sensual World by Kate Bush

“I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.” ― James Joyce, Ulysses


My Favourite Book by Stars

“How I know your face, all the ways you move, you come in, I can read you
You’re my favourite book”


Me Gustas Cuando Callas by Brazilian Girls

Just as all living things are filled with my soul.
you emerge from all living things filled with the soul of me.
It’s as if, a butterfly in dreams, you were my soul,
and as if you were the soul’s word, melancholy.

-Pablo Neruda, “Poema XV” translated by Robert Hass from City Lights’ The Essential Neruda



For Crying & Eating Ice Cream:

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, Performed by Rufus Wainwright

“Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah”


Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush

“Out on the wiley, windy moors
We’d roll and fall in green.
You had a temper like my jealousy:
Too hot, too greedy.
How could you leave me,
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you. I loved you, too.”


Calypso by Suzanne Vega

“My name is Calypso
And I have lived alone
I live on an island
And I waken to the dawn
A long time ago
I watched him struggle with the sea
I knew that he was drowning
And I brought him into me
Now today
Come morning light
He sails away
After one last night
I let him go.”


Samson by Regina Spektor

“And history books forgot about us and the bible didn’t mention us
And the bible didn’t mention us, not even once

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first”


The Whole Playlist:



7 Weird Books From UndergroundBooks.net

You may have guessed that some strange books cross our desk from time to time here at Underground. Read further to see just how weird it gets, and let us take you on a wondrously educational ride through our strangest offerings that will leave your skies clear and your colon clean.


  1. Mo-Ped: The Wonder Vehicle by Jerry Murray


    Alternate title, MO-PED: The Biker Gangs of the Future

Is there any more miraculous vehicle than that of the “mo-ped”? This book doesn’t waste time answering stupid questions. If you want to know how the Peugot, “deservedly the snob of the mo-ped world,” stacks up against the Batavus, whose “racy look…will appeal to the sportsman in you,” then this is the Moped Bible you’ve been waiting for. If you want tasteful black and white photographs of models both sleek and curvy, then this is the Sports Illustrated Moped Edition you’ve been looking for. Either way, you’re sure to feel as badass with this book in your hand as you do cruising through town on your wonder vehicle.




  1. 101 Ways to Avoid a Drunk Driving Conviction by William C. Head and Reese I. Joye, Jr. Attorneys at Law 

Read responsibly.

Not only will your lawyer bros William and Reese tell you how to wriggle free of that DUI charge, they include the very helpful Appendix K, a set of “Drivers Rights” cards, conveniently sized for your wallet and drunk driving kit. Never be unprepared again. As our catalog says, “a useful book if you are one of the many fools who drink and drive on a regular basis.”










  1. Keeping Fit by the Department of the Interior Bureau of Education 


    Uncle Sam Wants You! (Not like that.)

Soldiers, your government cares about you, as evidenced by this 1918 pamphlet from the “Bureau of Social Hygiene,” which helpfully explains the “four great handicaps” preventing soldiers from “keeping fit.” “Defective eyesight, poor teeth, bad feet, and venereal diseases,” there are the enemies on the battlefield of your health. Within the first two pages, you will learn how to combat eye, teeth, and foot problems. The rest of the pamphlet, 11 pages, will scare you out of contracting V.D.





  1. The One Rose, Mother of the Immortal Kewpies: A biography of Rose O’Neill and the story of her work by Rowena Godding Ruggles

One rose, a million reasons to sleep with the light on.

We hear you can get a degree from Hogwarts with a name like Rowena Godding Ruggles (we’re just jealous). Ruggles delves deep into the world of Rose O’Neill, the American illustrator, artist, and writer from whose mind the world received the Kewpies, popular comic characters and the disturbing bisque dolls your grandma likes. This nicely bound book comes heavily illustrated throughout for more nightmare fuel.

I bring the darkness!












  1. Colon Hygiene by John Harvey Kellogg 

Just let this informative text run right through you.

John Harvey Kellogg, co-creator of the popular corn flakes cereal and superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitorium, was a man of many passions, including abstinence, masturbation prevention, eugenics, and the health of the “most despised and neglected portion of the body, the colon.” Kellog’s refusal to include sugar, or the white devil as it’s called in some circles, in the secret recipe for corn flakes led to his split from co-creator and brother Will Keith Kellogg. John Harvey certainly had projects that required a healthy breakfast. Examine the colon through the eyes of the (non)master(bator).






  1. Subduing The Earth, Controlling The Elements, And Ruling The Nations With Jesus Christ by Franklin Hall

Thanks for the climate change, Frank.

This pamphlet certainly takes that verse about doing all things through Christ to the next level. 1950’s and 60’s healing evangelist and preacher Franklin Hall’s various fixations included miracles and weather control.  With chapter subtitles like “Interplanetary Tourist Information,” “Controlling the Sky Is Not Too Difficult,” and “Holy Ghost Beauty Treatment,” Hall will have you looking fabulous under a tin foil hat and a cloud-free sky.










  1. Bisba by Timothy Burr 


    The fuchsia top stain and the gilt lettering really make this an attractive book.

We have to let this one speak for itself, or risk using NSFW language. From back flap: “No matter how little or much breasts have meant to you before, you’ve now reached a turning point. Once you have read even a few chapters of BISBA, you can never again have only a detached interest in the myriad variety of breasts you daily encounter. From here on, every one of them will be seen as an open window that lets you peek into the mysteries of its possessor.” Just in case you needed more convincing, here’s the full cover title: “Why and how–WOMEN’S BREASTS REVEAL THEIR CHARACTER BISBA BARING THE BREAST’S INTRIGUING MYSTERIES from its INFLUENCE (on man, mind and history) to its INSPECTION ANALYSIS IDENTIFICATION RATING AND INTERPRETATION PLUS– A uniquely valuable dictionary-commentary on a thousand ways to describe women.” Instructively illustrated throughout with exactly what you’d expect.




We hope you enjoyed the ride! If you’re a local patron and would like to see any of these fine selections in person, please contact us at (678)977-5517 to make an appointment (we keep our online inventory at another location). For more of the weirdest books of West Georgia, check out our Weird category back at UndergroundBooks.net.