I can’t imagine life without two things. Books and music.

Fred came to the shop today to pickup a book and have some lunch. I brought down a guitar for him to play and asked him to do a tune in “Ragtime” style. He’s a blue grass picker and he said he hadn’t been playing for a little while but boy did this have a nice flavor to it, thought you all might enjoy this little shop time performance as well!

I’ll also post a bluegrass tune he did. Keep The Reading Alive Out There! Come visit my shop located at 5266 State HWY 41 Smithville Flats, NY 13841 don’t leave your reading glasses at home!

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Over-the-Counter Poison?!


Poison. Its not quite something we see so directly out there besides the obvious products that help control pests like rats and mice.

In the Victorian Era, however, Poison was sold over-the-counter for various uses. Arsenic, being the more widely used and sought after was used with washing and as an aid to help women improve their complexions. Check out this newspaper clipping from back in the day to see just how widely they were marketed and pushed.


Two other popular poisons during this time were Cyanide which was in just about everything including your wallpaper and Strychnine, which was used primarily in pest control products.

It is not a surprise that people didn’t live very long back then besides the obvious reasons like TB. I would like to say that maybe all these toxic products played a roll in that.

Some of the immediate side-effects of digesting Arsenic include vomiting, diarrhea to possible death depending on the amount. Symptoms of poisoning by Cyanide and Strychnine include frothing at the mouth, muscle spasms, asphyxiation, convulsions, cardiac arrest and even instant death. With that being said these products fueled the 19th Century Murder Era.


Hello World!

My name is Phil and my book store is located in a small quaint village called Smithville Flats in Chenango County, New York. I sell Antique, Rare, Out of Print, Used & New books and carry a full selection of various genres, a wide array of titles and beautifully bound sets.

Besides books, I also sell antiques, art, and collectibles which I have interspersed throughout the store.

Follow my blog to stay up-to-date on news, new products, historical tid-bits and events that you will not want to miss out on!

Come visit me, check out the great deals and step back in time while you do so. My doors will be open Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 A.M. – 6 P.M.