Games, Recreation, Chess, Card Games, Billiards

Games, Recreation, Chess, Card Games, Billiards, Poker, Free online books

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.

Century Past Library


Games Collection

Free online books on the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Indoor Games”. Be patient as the page loads.

Computer Games Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Computer Games”. Be patient as the page loads.

Puzzles Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Puzzles”. Be patient as the page loads.

Crossword Puzzles Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Crossword Puzzles”. Be patient as the page loads.

Picture Puzzles Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Picture Puzzles”. Be patient as the page loads.

Word Games Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Word Games”. Be patient as the page loads.

Chess Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Chess”. Be patient as the page loads.

Chess Book Collection – “Folkscanomy”

        Dewey Dec.    793

Collection of 34 free online Chess books by many authors at Internet Archive

Educational Games Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Educational Games”. Be patient as the page loads.

Church Sociables and Entertainments Illustrated

Curtis 1898        Dewey Dec.    793

From the Ladies Home Journal Religious Library.

My Best Games of Chess, 1908-1937

Alekhine, Alexander
Dover 1985        Dewey Dec.    794

Alekhine was World Champion from 1927-35 and from 1937-46. This collection “reproduces Alekhine’s 220 best games, his own personal accounts of the dazzling victories that made him a legend.” – Book cover.

Also see our collection of Popular Cultural History Articles: Clothes – Food – Recreation

Hobbyist Sourcebook: A Descriptive Guide to Sources of Information on Hobbies, Pastimes, and Avocational Pursuits of All Finds

Allard, Denise M.
Gale Research 1990        Dewey Dec.    790.1

Covering books, magazines, catalogs, videos, software, and more on 43 major hobbies. Information associations, camps, special collections and museums. Designed for both the beginner and the experienced enthusiast. Special juvenile category helps children start hobbies. Information on turning pastimes into profits. – Book cover

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium

Bancroft, Jessie Hubbell
Macmillan 1909        Dewey Dec.    790

“Largely the result of original research on the part of the assistant director of physical training in the New York City schools. Contains a varied collection of games for playgrounds, gymnasiums, summer camps, children’s parties, seashore, etc.” – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911

New Ideas for Work and Play; What a Girl Can Make and Do

Beard, Lina and Beard, Adelia B.
Scribner’s Sons 1906        Dewey Dec.    793

Chapter headings are: 1. What a Girl can Make with Hammer and Saw, 2. Possibilities of an Easter Egg, 3. A Paper Easter, 4. Vacation Work with Nature’s Material, 5. Collections, 6. Original Valentines, 7. Vegetable Animals and Fruit Lanterns, 8. Pasteboard Models for a Home Drawing Class, 9. Quick Ink Pictures, 10. Moving Toys, 11. Home-Made Pyrotechnics, 12. Monotypes, 13. Priscilla Rugs, 14. A Peanut Noah’s Ark, 15. A Flower Feast, 16. Basket-Weaving, 17. An “Abe” Lincoln Log-Cabin, 18. Queer Things on Paper and Blackboard and How to Put Them There, 19. Home-Made Musical Instruments, 20. What to Make of Empty Spools, 21. Christmas Decorations, 22. Christmas Devices, 23. Picture Writing and Sign Language, 24. Statuary Tableaux, 25. Witchery, 26. Living Alphabet, 27. Odd Gardens, 28. Active Games, 29. Expensive Games with Little or No Expense, 30. Basket Ball, 31. Some of Our Out-Door Neighbors and Where to Look for Them

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

Bissell, Tom
Pantheon 2010        Dewey Dec.    794

A volume of essays about video games, by a writer who plays a lot of games. “The first truly indispensable work of literary nonfiction about society’s most lucrative entertainment medium. Bissell’s commentary is marvelously astute and his enthusiasm for games makes even his words on the printed page feel positively backlit.” Paste

The Crafts Supply Source Book

A comprehensive shop-by-mail guide for thousands of craft materials

Boyd, Margaret A.
Betterway 1996        Dewey Dec.    790.1

American Country-Dances (Vol 1); Twenty-eight Contra-dances, Largely from the New England States

Burchenal, Elizabeth, ed.
Schirmer 1918        Dewey Dec.    793

A collection of some of the old country dances which are essentially American, including both music and directions. It is intended as a first book in a new series of dances. The dances included are mainly variations of British originals. – A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Folk-Dances and Singing Games

Burchenal, Elizabeth, ed.
Schirmer 1909        Dewey Dec.    793

“Music (with words) and description of 26 folk dances of 10 European countries. Crampton’s Folk dance book (Barnes, 1909) contains a larger number of dances (42) The descriptions are clear but not illustrated. Crawford’s Folk dances and games (Barnes, 1908) is better adapted for teachers already having a knowledge of folk-dancing. Bergqulst’s Swedish folk dances (Barnes, 2d ed. 1910) gives music and full description for 23 Swedish dances.” – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911

Byrne’s New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards

Byrne, Robert
Harcourt Brace 1998        Dewey Dec.    794

The author explains the rules of pool and billiards and offers advice on strategy with diagrams of various shots. Over 400 illustrations.

Capablanca Chess Fundamentals

Capablanca, Jose
Harcourt, Brace        Dewey Dec.    794

“Explains the general principles of chess through eighteen illustrative games, so that, when grounded in these, the novice may understand the whole elementary science of the game.”

Patience: A Series of Games with Cards

Cheney, Ednah Dow Littlehale
Lee and Shepard 1869        Dewey Dec.    795

Numerous variations of the one-person card game(s) often known as “Solitaire”.

The Boy’s Own Book; a Complete Encyclopedia of all the Diversions, Athletic, Scientific and Recreative, of Boyhood and Youth

Clarke, William
Munroe and Francis 1834        Dewey Dec.    790

Chapter headings are: – Games with marbles, – Games with Toys, – Games with Balls, – Sports of Agility and Speed, – Sports with Toys, – Miscellaneous Sports, – Deaf and Dumb Alphabet, – Archery, – Cricket, – Gymnastics, – Swimming, – Arithmetical Amusements, – Optical Amusements, – Chemical Amusements, – Draughts, or Checkers, – Feats of Legerdemain, – Tricks with Cards, – Paradoxes and Puzzles, – Varieties, – The Riddles, – Angling, – Rabbits, – Guinea Pigs, – Pigeons, – Fencing

Play and Recreation for the Open Country

Curtis, Henry Stoddard
Ginn 1914        Dewey Dec.    790

A practical handbook for all those interested in the problem of recreation in the rural community. Suggests plays and games for home and school; describes the organization of the Boy scouts and Campfire girls; and gives ideas and methods of organizing social centers. Written by one who has expert knowledge and practical training.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

Fisher, Bobby
Bantam 1972        Dewey Dec.    794

“The author gives specific advice and hints aimed at both the beginning and advanced player. Each step-by-step lesson is fully illustrated.”

Complete Hoyle

Foster, Robert Frederick
Stokes 1914        Dewey Dec.    795

A complete encyclopedia of all indoor games, such as auction bridge, mah Jong, poker, Russian bank, and all the other card games, backgammon and checkers, chess, billiards, and pool, bowling, dice games, and dominoes. It gives suggestions for good play, illustrative hands, and all official laws to date. First edition published in 1897.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Foster’s Auction Bridge Up to Date

Foster, Robert Frederick
Stokes 1910        Dewey Dec.    795

“Contains the official laws of auction bridge as adopted by the Whist Club of New York, revised to October 1010, and includes material on methods of play and the tactics of the game.” – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911

The Colossal Book of Short Puzzles and Problems

Gardner, Martin
Norton 2006        Dewey Dec.    793

Combinatorics, probability, algebra, geometry, topology, chess, logic, cryptarithms, wordplay, physics and other topics of recreational mathematics.

Ice-Breakers and the Icebreaker Herself

Geister, Edna
Doran 1922        Dewey Dec.    793

A collection of games for large and small groups; musical games, stunts, and girls’ athletic games, compiled by a YWCA. secretary for war-time parties. Many were used successfully where large groups of soldiers were being entertained. First published in 1918 under the title Ice-breakers, this edition adds suggestions on recreation leadership. – A.L.A. Catalog 1926

”Dame Curtsey’s” Book of Novel Entertainments for Every Day in the Year

Glover, Ellye Howell
McClurg 1907        Dewey Dec.    793

“Suggestions for holiday entertainments, birthday parties, church and club entertainments, engagement and wedding functions, toasts and sentiments for all occasions, and novel refreshments.” – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911

Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games

Kingsland, Mrs Florence
Doubleday 1904        Dewey Dec.    790

“Excellent collection for all ages and occasions, with suggestions for special days, dinners, dances, tableaux and wedding anniversaries. Games mainly with apparatus.” – A.L.A.Catalog 1904 – 1911

The Dance, its Place in Art and Life

Kinney, Troy, and Kinney, Margaret West
Stokes 1914        Dewey Dec.    793

One of the most complete books on the subject, covering historical development, folk dancing, and present-day artistic and social dancing. The authors are recognized authorities who know present conditions in New York, London, Paris and Seville.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

The American Girl’s Book, or, Occupation for Play Hours

Leslie, Eliza
Munroe and Francis 1831        Dewey Dec.    793

Chapter headings are: – Sports and Pastimes, – Plays with Toys, – Little Games with Cards, – Riddles, – Amusing Work – Pincushions, – Needle Books, – Reticules, – Varieties

Singing Games and Drills

Marsh, Chester Geppert
Barnes 1925        Dewey Dec.    793

A recreational program of games, action stories and callisthenic drills for use in the schools of rural districts, and small towns having no graded system of physical education. The games may be used for entire school group play; they include posture tests, and May pole dance, with air of the music, and words. There are separate indexes of singing games, action stories, and running games. – A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Playing Off the Rail: A Pool Hustler’s Journey

McCumber, David
Avon 1997        Dewey Dec.    794

“The author plays financial backer to a sharp-tongued player named Tony Annigoni, and takes him on the road across North America in search of highstakes games … This is a terrific book.” New Yorker.

U.S. Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess

United States Chess Federation
McKay 1987        Dewey Dec.    794

In addition to rules, “also contains explanations of every legal move, a guide to calculating lifetime rankings, guidelines for sponsoring and running a tournament, and a lesson on how to read and write chess notation.” Publisher’s note.

Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker

McManus, James
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2009        Dewey Dec.    795

“The epic story of how poker has grown from disreputable roots to become America’s – and the world’s – game. A satisfying, useful overview.” Kirkus

Positively Fifth Street

McManus, James
Picador 2004        Dewey Dec.    795

A chronicle of life in Las Vegas investigates the murder of poker player Ted Binion, revealing a secret world of kinky sex, black magic, and science lurking at the heart of gambling’s World Series of Poker.

Hoyle’s Rules of Games

Morehead, Albert H. and Mott-Smith, Geoffrey
New American Library 1983        Dewey Dec.    795

Not only how to play games but also how to win them, with expert advice on strategy and authoritative information for settling disputes over any number of fine points.
Bridge — Poker — Rummy — Stops — All fours — Triumph — Hearts — Oh hell — Pinochle — Skat — Cribbage — Klaberjass — Casino — Card games played by children — Banking and gambling games — Solitaire — Dominoes — Board games — Dice games — Parlor games — Scrabble.

The Handbook of Conundrums

Ordway, Edith Bertha
Sully 1913        Dewey Dec.    793

A collection including the best of the old familiar conundrums and many new ones. Topically arranged. – A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Scarne’s Encyclopedia of Card Games

Scarne, John
Perennial Library 1995        Dewey Dec.    795

Poker as Life: 101 Lessons from the World’s Greatest Game

Schreiber, Lee Robert
Hearst 2004        Dewey Dec.    795

How to Play Chess: Lessons from an International Master. Course Guidebook

Silman, Jeremy
The Great Courses 2015        Dewey Dec.    794

“This course is designed to take your from a complete beginner to being ready for an entry-level tournament.” -Intro

Games, Contests and Relays

Staley, Seward Charles
Barnes 1924        Dewey Dec.    790

An exhaustive collection of recreational activities for groups, with instructions for playing, including many used in foreign countries, arranged according to grade through college. All are athletic but do not include organized games such as baseball. Relay races, combative contests, mass and individual, are treated separately. Some illustrations and diagrams.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Gamer Theory

Wark, McKenzie
Harvard Univ. 2007        Dewey Dec.    794

“For Wark, video games are worth studying because they offer insights into contemporary society and culture. [He] devotes complete chapters to particular games and the key concepts they clarify. The book is about gaming ambience – that is, gamespace – as the kinetic field within which game players exist.” PopMatters.

The Book of Games and Parties for All Occasions

Wolcott, Theresa Hunt, ed.
Small, Maynard 1919        Dewey Dec.    793

Published by the Ladies Home Journal.

Century Past Library