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"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food..."

-Erasmus

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Oh, No! No Inventory Update


UPDATE on updating our in-store inventory, so that you can see online just what we have or can get for you: 
Our work-around is sporadic at best and what you see as "in stock" may not be and vice versa.
The only reliable information is that if the status is: "hard to find," that book really is hard to get (at a reasonable price)!
Please give us a call 815-285-2665 or write us chin@booksonfirst.com if you need additional help.
We thank you for your patience.

Illinois History

 

 

New and In-Store Now!

Mariah Karson is an award-winning photographer based in Chicago, IL.  Roadtripping across the country, she was struck by the American Legion buildings prominently situated in small towns.  How do they stay maintained and relevant?  What happens inside them? From those questions, Mariah set out to find out more, focusing on four American Legion Halls in towns with less than 1000 residents, including Franklin Grove, IL.  She photographed and researched not only the buildings themselves, but also the veterans who rely on them for sense of community as a fast-paced world whirls around them and "Thank you for your service," falls as easily from the lips as "How're doing?," with no conscious thought or pause for response.
This book is a documentary of what may be lost within just a few moments.  Books on First not only gives thanks to the veterans of our military for their service, but also, to Mariah for hers.

Now on sale ($35) at Books on First.  Call us 815-285-2665 or write us to reserve your copy today.

 


It Can't Get More Local Than This

 

One hundred thirty-three years after Frank Charles Thiel, a young Bible salesman, was found slain in what is later known as Bloody Gulch, great-grandnephew John Thiel has published the definitive history of the gruesome murder and subsequent arrest & trial of Joseph Mosse, on whose person was found an Elgin National Watch Co watch chain thought to belong to the murder victim.

 

 

Duane Paulsen, nearing 82 years old and contemplating his mortality, has begun compiling his notes from primary source research and interviews, and presenting them in book form for our reading pleasure.  

Read about Billy Sunday's visit to Dixon, the intercity lightrail, the largest Chatauqua gatherings outside of New York and more.  Dixon Stories is now here at Books on First.  Copies signed by the author are, as they say, available for a limited time only.

And, did you know that there were dozens of temporary memorial arches erected to welcome the soldiers home in 1919? Most of them are long gone, but Dixon wanted to preserve theirs, rebuilding it over and over again so that it is what welcomes everyone to Dixon today.  See Duane Paulsen's interview with WREX as we commemorate 100 years of the Dixon Memorial Arch, and get his book at Books on First. 

 


Not Your Usual Book About Dixon

A.K. (aka "Erin") Thompson spent four years working on this biography of the founding family of Dixon's own Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital.  Full of personal anguish and period history, this is not just local, but a larger story of a time when finding high quality health care was like pioneering.  The title comes from the headline of Katherine Shaw Bethea's own obituary, whose struggle with and death from tuberculosis resulted in the legacy that still bears her name today.
 
 
 
Now for sale ($19.95) at Books on First.  Call 815-285-2665 or write us for your copy today!
 
 

 
Inspired in part by the Nachusa Grasslands,
Author Guy C Fraker's new book
Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency:
The Eighth Judicial Circuit
tells of how hard work, long days on the prairie, and some savvy networking can
pave a way to the White House. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

And, If You're Looking for Books on Dixon's Most Famous Former Resident, Look No Further Than Here 

 


 

 

Staff Pick Badge
The Ottawa Rescue Case Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781478795070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Outskirts Press - March 9th, 2018

This is the story of a daring save in 1859 of a runaway slave found to be not guilty of any charges in Illinois, but scheduled to be remanded to a U.S. Commission in Springfield to face charges of violation of a federal fugitive slave law and a return to his owner in Missouri, and the subsequent capture and trial of these Illinoisans in Chicago.


The Score of a Lifetime: 25 Years Talking Chicago Sports Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781629375755
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Triumph Books - November 15th, 2017

From Fear to Friendship: Dixon, Illiis, and Dikson, Siberia Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780812692211
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Open Court - February 5th, 1999

Dixon, Illinois (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780738572741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - September 23rd, 1998

Illinois: A History in Pictures Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780252081798
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Illinois Press - January 25th, 2016

The Iron Road in the Prairie State: The Story of Illinois Railroading (Railroads Past and Present) Cover Image
$60.00
ISBN: 9780253019066
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Indiana University Press - January 20th, 2016

City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780307454300
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - April 16th, 2013

Camp Grant (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780738532196
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - November 24th, 2003

Rochelle (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780738541341
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - January 17th, 2007

Starved Rock State Park: The Work of the CCC Along the I&m Canal (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780738519906
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - July 24th, 2002

Rockford: 1920 and Beyond (Postcard History) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780738532639
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - August 6th, 2004

Princeton (Postcard History) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9780738578187
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - November 8th, 2010

Galena, Illinois: A Brief History Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781596297302
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: History Press - August 20th, 2010

Ramblers: Loyola Chicago 1963 a the Team That Changed the Color of College Basketball Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781572841406
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Agate Midway - March 12th, 2013

First Son: The Biography of Richard M. Daley Cover Image
$10.00
ISBN: 9780226449470
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - March 28th, 2013

Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780812981261
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - November 12th, 2013

Frontier Illinois (History of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier) Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780253214065
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Indiana University Press - August 22nd, 2000

Illinois in the War of 1812 Cover Image
$34.95
ISBN: 9780252036743
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: University of Illinois Press - January 30th, 2012

One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko Cover Image
By Mike Royko, Studs Terkel (Foreword by)
$12.00
ISBN: 9780226730721
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - May 15th, 2000

Lincoln's Greatest Case: The River, the Bridge, and the Making of America Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631491474
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - February 2016

Route 66 in Illinois (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781467111942
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arcadia Publishing (SC) - June 9th, 2014