Books on recreational and popular mathematics, etc

Recreational Books – p. 157


David Singmaster

87 Rodenhurst Road, London, SW4 8AF, UK

Tel/fax: 020-8674 3676; email: ZINGMASTYLE="@ LSBU.AC.UK

Last updated on 20 September 2013.

Approximately 7811 items + Supplement of 202 old books.


Contents 1

Introduction 1

Scope; Format 2

Abbreviations 3

Publishers' locations 3

Institutional authors 5

Anonymous items 7

Authors 15

Periodicals 158

Subject Index 161

Non-book printed items 181

Non-English language items 181

Anglo-Saxon; Arabic; Bulgarian; Catalan; Chinese; Czech; Danish; Dutch; Finnish; Flemish; French;

German; Greek; Hebrew; Hungarian; Italian; Japanese; Latin; Latvian; Lithuanian; Norwegian;

Polish; Portuguese; Roumanian; Russian; Sanskrit; Serbo-Croatian; Slovak; Spanish; Swedish;

Ukrainian; Welsh.


1. Old Books 184

2. Calculating devices 195

Queries 196

Items Disposed of 196


These are the books in my collection. I have included a Supplement of my old books, generally on algebra and arithmetic. Many of these are of some minor recreational interest, but not enough to be considered in the main list. There may be some more reprints of old books to go in the Supplement.

The count of items is a bit approximate and some items which are made up of separate parts may be counted once while others may have each part counted.

I have separate lists of my cartoon books, humour books, information and quiz books, books on language (particularly word games, word origins, etc.), translations of Russian popular mathematics books. Some of these lists overlap the present list. I have separate catalogues of my books on the history of mathematics and science and on London.

I am always interested in obtaining similar books. I have separate lists of my spare books and puzzles for sale or trade and of my wants.

This collection is now one of the largest collections in the field. If you are interested in more books on recreational mathematics, then the following are the best bibliographies.

Ahrens. Mathematische Unterhaltungen und Spiele. 2nd ed., vol. II, 1918.

Schaaf. Bibliography of Recreational Mathematics, 4 vol., 1958 – 1978.

Books on Recreational Mathematics. A Supplement to the Lists in William L. Schaaf's A Bibliography of Recreational Mathematics. Collected by William L. Schaaf. Typed and annotated by David Singmaster. Department of Computing and Mathematics, South Bank Polytechnic, 18pp, 1992.

Shortz. Puzzleana. Various versions.

Strens/Guy Collection. Author/Title Listing. Univ. of Calgary, nd [1985]; Preliminary Catalogue, July 1986. [I have a version which has removed most of the blank space from this, reducing the printed form to about a third of the space.]

This catalogue, the Supplement to Schaaf and the Strens/Guy catalogue are available from me in computer form – in Script, WordPerfect, ASCII, or Word.

The most extensive collections are undoubtedly in the great public libraries (British Library, Library of Congress, Bibliothèque Nationale, Deutsches Museum, New York Public Library) and academic libraries, but these are not specialist collections and hence their holdings may be patchy, especially as recreational material is often ephemeral. The most extensive specialist collections are probably the collection here described, Martin Gardner's collection and the Strens/Guy collection. For older British algebra and arithmetic books, the collection formed by P. J. Wallis at Newcastle is excellent. Following on Wallis's death, the collection was transferred to the University of Newcastle and has now been catalogued and is accessible; the catalogue can be examined as an OPAC – search for the classmark Wallis. There was a friendly collection of older mathematics books at the University of Keele, but the University secretly sold it in summer 1998. The Graves collection at University College London has now been properly catalogued and they are in the process of getting the information into a reproducible and saleable form. The private collections of James Dalgety, John Ergatoudis, Jan de Geus, Dick Hess, Edward Hordern(†), Chris Lewin, Tom Ransom, Tom Rodgers, Will Shortz and Jerry Slocum are all extensive, but only Hess, Shortz and Slocum are catalogued and access to these is limited. I don't know any large collections in continental Europe or Japan (except Jan de Geus's and possibly Nob Yoshigahara's).

Collecting books on magic has been popular for many years and quite notable collections and bibliographies have been made. Magic overlaps recreational mathematics, particularly in older books, and I have now added references to items listed in the bibliographies of M. B. Christopher, Clarke & Blind, Gill, T. H. Hall, Heyl, Toole Stott and Volkmann & Tummers – details of these works are given in the main list below. Most of the major magic collections are in private hands (e.g. Jay Marshall, David Copperfield, Persi Diaconis, Bill Kalush, Byron Walker) or at magic societies and hence are not always easy for a non-magician to access. There is a notable collection of Harry Price at Senate House, University of London, and a catalogue was printed in 1929 & 1935 (reprinted in 1982). Bill Kalush is building a library of early works and many of these are of interest for recreational mathematics.

Another related bibliography is Santi's Bibliografia della Enigmistica, which is primarily about word puzzles, riddles, etc., but has some overlap with recreational mathematics – again see the entry in the main list.

I am willing to let serious students use my collection, but time is always a problem. I can also photocopy or scan material, but would have to charge for any extensive amounts.


The borders between recreational mathematics and other subjects are often hard to recognise. In this list, I have included more rather than less. I have included books of mathematical problems and on problem solving, books about mathematics in general (e.g. The World of Mathematics, books by Hogben), and mathematics books with some incidental recreational interest (e.g. in geometry, combinatorics, number theory and history). I have also included my books on magic (since my interests in magic are primarily in its mathematical aspects), most of my books on word puzzles, especially crosswords (though these are now all also entered in my list of books on language), some quiz books which have questions of a mathematical nature and books about children's books and games. The coverage tends to expand with time, e.g., I have recently included some books on mnemonics and memory because of the connection with mental calculation. I have also included some books simply because the author or introducer is generally on this list (e.g. Asimov, W. W. R. Ball, E. T. Bell, de Bono, Brandreth, Dudeney, Eldin, Emmet, Gardner, Hoffmann, Hogben, Phillips) and it is convenient to have all (or most) of the entries for an author in one place. I include some books or articles for which I only have photocopies (noted PHOTOCOPY), a few single issues of magazines which have one article of interest and a few separate articles (usually photocopies) which are relevant. Books, articles and other material on Rubik's Cube and related puzzles (Pyraminx, Magic Snake, but not the later Rubik's Magic) are included in my older separate Bibliography on Rubik's Cube. I have entered about 240 such items into this file. However, I have several boxes of cube material which have not been examined thoroughly and may well contain more items which should be included here. I have included some historical items which contain material of recreational interest, e.g. old algebra and arithmetic texts, but I have trouble deciding whether such books are sufficiently recreational to be included or not and many of them are listed in the Supplement on Old Books. I also have a number of similar unexamined books which may be added in the future. I also include printed material in the form of postcards, posters, calendars, stamps, coins, bills, beer mats, scarves, etc. – and I have just started adding material on floppy disks and CDs. The division between items which are included and those which are not is a bit vague, especially with old texts and with leaflets too small to be considered as books, e.g. solutions of Rubik's Cube. Rubik's Cubes and many other puzzles in my collection are often accompanied by booklets of instructions, problems and solutions which are generally not included here.


I originally only entered the initials of given names, but I have now added full given names, so far as known, even though these are sometimes not given in the books. In a few cases, I haven't managed to find the actual book to check and these are indicated by (??) after the given name. For material in or from Cyrillic, I give the Cyrillic for the name, title and publisher with transliteration and/or translation. Previously some authors suffered from having several transliterated forms – e.g. Perelman, J. I. = Pérelman, Y. = Perelman, Y. I. =  Perelman, Ya; Vorob'ev = Vorobyov. I am using the American Mathematical Society's standard transliteration for Cyrillic. However, in at least one case, the Cyrillic is not given in the book and hence remains uncertain.

Some authors have used stage or popular names and I have denoted these as pseudonyms even when there is no attempt to hide the author's real name. Some of these entries are under the pseudonym and some under the real name. I have tried to determine the real name and make cross reference entries between real names and pseudonyms. I am now entering illustrator's names, but I did not do this as the beginning, so quite a number of illustrator's names are missing, though I add them when I notice them. I am now including author's dates when known.

For the publisher, an entry such as Pelican (Penguin), indicates that Pelican is an imprint or a part of Penguin. I did not do this at first and there have been many takeovers so it is not always clear who owns whom and when. I have now treated the most common imprints as publishers, namely: Armada, Beaver, Carousel, Corgi, Dragon, Fontana, Knight, Mentor, Panther, Pelican, Piccolo, Ptarmigan, Puffin, Signet. For common publishers, I have shortened the company name and have omitted the place of publication – these details are given just below in the section Publishers' Locations – though some have moved around a bit. A few publishers have abbreviated names, given below in Abbreviations. A few books have no known place of publication – this is sometimes indicated by np and sometimes followed with a guess, or even just the country, in [ ]. I have a separate list of publishers' details as I use these abbreviations in all my book lists.

I have generally included all of the publishing history available, including translations and changes of title, although I was not as thorough when I started as I am now. In a few cases this history is so complicated that I have compiled separate bibliographies. My Technical Report The Bibliography of Some Recreational Mathematics Books covers: Boy's Own Book; Ball; van Etten; Girl's Own Book and Ozanam. Note that the titles on the cover and on the title page sometimes differ. A few years ago, I began to include printing numbers, but it is often hard to know if an 'edition' is a reprinting or not. Also, recent books often indicate the printing number without the date or vice versa and/or give them in a cryptic format on the back of the TP which I did not initially understand, so I may not have all these details entered. An entry like: 1997, 2nd ptg indicates the original issue was in 1997, but my copy indicates it is a second printing, but does not give a date for the printing, while (1996), 1997 indicates that the first issue was 1996 and my copy is dated 1997, but without a printing number. I have added references to later editions and retitlings which are known to me. Different editions are separated by ; or , . Editions or dates in ( ) indicate earlier versions which I do not have, though this may be a copyright date rather than a publication date. E.g. – (Macmillan, 1984; Picador, 1985); Obelisk (Dutton), NY, (1988), 3rd ptg., 1990 indicates that the book was first published by Macmillan, then by Picador, but that my copy is an Obelisk book (an imprint of Dutton in NY), which first appeared in 1988, but that my copy is the 3rd ptg. of 1990.

nd indicates that no date of publication is given in the book. This is usually followed by a date or approximate date in [ ], which may be determined from some other source such as the date of the preface or from the British Museum Catalogue, or estimated from the style, typography, cost and other aspects of the book.

All books are paperback (PB) unless indicated as hardback (HB) or PHOTOCOPY or CD. Many items first appeared in HB and my copy is sometimes labelled something like 'first paper edition', so I enter it as, e.g. OUP, (1980); PB, 1982. Some items have stiff board covers about halfway between PB and HB and I usually indicate these as 'boarded'. A few items are ring or spiral bound and so indicated.

In 1990, I began to record sources of unusual interest, e.g. gifts from puzzlers or authors, association or signed copies, etc. However, I know I have forgotten a number of older gifts, especially among the Rubik Cube books which were received in 1979 1982, but were added to this file in 1991.

On 24 Mar 2000 and 17 Nov 2000, I bought some books at the Christie's and Sotheby's sales of part of the Turner Collection. I later bought a few more items from dealers who had bought lots at these sales and from Simon Finch. Turner xxx indicates such a book, with xxx being the shelf mark. All these have a bookplate saying: Turner Collection The Library University of Keele Presented by C. W. Turner 1968. Cf Christie's, S. Hill, Sotheby's.

Originally I did not always record diacritical marks as this file started on a VAX computer, but then I used special symbols after a letter to denote the commoner ones, e.g. ä was entered as a". I have now converted these to their proper form, but some may have been omitted and some may appear to be missing since usage varies – in particular French printing does not always include accents on capital letters and older French works were not consistent in their usage. I have added all available diacritical marks, including those in unusual languages such as Hungarian, since LocoScript and Script provide all common marks, but I may have missed some. I do not adopt the Scandinavian practice of considering å, ø, etc. at the end of the alphabet (but I now realise that this may be a computer artefact), nor the German(?) practice of treating ä, ö, ü as ae, oe, ue in alphabetising.

I have processed the entire text through my spell-checker. This has turned up a number of typographical errors, but this does not help with proper names and foreign words, so there may still be errors, though I am fairly precise with these when I initially enter them.


I have not been very consistent about putting full stops (.) after abbreviations like ed or ptg or ibid.

The following abbreviations are used.

A-W Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts (& Menlo Park, California), USA.

AMS American Mathematical Society, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

ATM Association of Teachers of Mathematics, formerly Nelson, Lancashire, now Derby, UK.

BBC British Broadcasting Corporation, London, UK.

BCA Book Club Associates, London, UK.

BCB Trevor H. Hall. A Bibliography of Books on Conjuring in English from 1580 to 1850. See under Hall in the main list below. OCB includes a Supplement to this. See also Heyl.

BLC British Library Catalogue. The replacement of BMC.

BMC British Museum Catalogue or its supplements (BMC65 for 1956-1965, BMC70 for 1966-1970) or its replacement in progress, the British Library Catalogue (BLC if needed), or the current on-line version.

BNC Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris) Catalogue, published in 1897-1981. There is a Supplement, BNC69, for 1960 1969.

CD Compact Disk. See also Disk.

Christopher & Christopher II

See under Christopher in the main list below.

CiP Cataloging in Publication.

CUP Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

C&B Clarke & Blind – see the entry in the main list below.

C&H Chapman & Hall, London, UK.

C&W Chatto & Windus, London, UK.

Disk 3.5" floppy disk. See also CD.

DJ Dust jacket.

DME Dolciani Mathematical Expositions, MAA. I have items 1 - 12, 14, 15, 19, 20, 22, 24, which are all included here.

DTV Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich, Bayern, Germany.

ed editor(s), edition, edited.

EMoYO Exploring Mathematics on Your Own. Published by (Webster, St. Louis, USA or McGraw-Hill, NY, USA) and Murray, London in the 1960s. I have items 1 - 6, 8 - 18, Geometric Constructions (unnumbered), all of which are included here. The two Doubleday books edited by Glenn & Johnson in 1961, 1962 include items 1 - 12.

EUP English Universities Press, London, UK.

FP Frontispiece.

Graves The Graves Collection of early mathematical books at University College London.

G4Gn Gathering for Gardner n, held in Atlanta. 1: Jan 1993; 2: Jan 1996; 3: Jan 1998; 4: Feb 2000; 5: Apr 2002.

HB hardback.

HBJ Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, NY, USA.

Heyl See under Heyl in the main list below.

HMSO Her/His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, UK.

HPL Harry Price Library, Senate House, University of London, or its Catalogue – see under H. Price.

HR&W Holt, Rinehart & Winston, NY, USA.

H&S Hodder (and Stoughton), London (also Leicester & Sevenoaks), UK.

ill. illustrator, illustrated.

IPPn n-th International Puzzle Party. 10 = London, 1989; 13 = Amsterdam, 1993; 16 = Luxembourg, 1996; 19 = London, 1999; 20 = Los Angeles, 2000; 22 = Antwerp, 2002. This are the ones I have attended, but some material has appeared at other IPPs.

MAA Mathematical Association of America, Washington, DC, US. See: DME, NML. They also publish the Carus Math. Monographs – I have: 1, 8 - 12, 13 (1st ed.), 14 - 16, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26 but only 24 and 25 are entered here.

NAL New American Library, NY, USA. SEE ALSO: Mentor, Signet.

NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, Virginia, US.

nd no date of publication. This is usually followed by an estimated date in [ ], based on internal references, catalogues or the physical appearance of the book.

NML New Mathematical Library, previously published by L. W. Singer and Random House for the MAA, now published by the MAA, US. I have items 1 - 32, 34 - 39. Items 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 34 - 39 are included here.

np no place of publication given. This is often followed by the country or a probable city in [ ] or indicated by ?.

NUC National Union Catalogue, of pre-1956 imprints. There were 4-yearly supplements, denoted by the last year covered, e.g. NUC57 covers 1953-1957, except there was a 12 year cumulative supplement for 1956-1967 which I denote NUC67 and use NUC63/67 for the 1963-1967 supplement.

OCB Trevor H. Hall. Old Conjuring Books. See under Hall in the main list below. Includes a Supplement to BCB.

OUP Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK & NY, US.

O&B Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, UK.

PB Paperback.

P-H Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA.

PSS Price/Stern/Sloane, Los Angeles, USA. SEE ALSO: Troubador.

ptg printing or impression. It is not always clear whether an edition is simply a printing.

PUF Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, France.

PUP Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

PWN Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe – Polish Scientific Publishers, Warsaw, Poland.

PW&S Prindle, Weber & Schmidt, Boston, USA.

R&KP Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, UK.

Santi See under Santi in the main list. References are to item numbers.

SBC Scientific Book Club, London, UK.

SPCK Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, UK.

S&S Simon & Schuster, NY, US. (Now a division of Gulf & Western Corporation, NY.) SEE ALSO: Pocket Books.

Toole Stott See under Toole Stott in the main list below.

TP title page.

Turner shelf mark of Turner Collection copies, cf above, Christie's, S. Hill, Sotheby's.

T&H Thames & Hudson, London, UK.

V&T Volkmann & Tummers – see the entry in the main list below.

?? uncertainty of some sort. I use this as a flag so I can search for such items.

-Ø after a catalogue indicates the catalogue does not have this item, e.g. BLC-Ø means there is nothing in BLC.

  1. Books on history of mathematics, science and technology

    I started this in 1 in order to record books received. I have extracted relevant books from other lists, from lists of references in my papers and from Sections 1-3 of my Sources.
  2. Some of these are difficult to distinguish from occasional periodicals

    Heft 6, 1992. Deschauer, Stefan. Das 1. Rechenbuch von Adam Ries. Nachdruck der 2. Auflage Erfurt 1525 mit einer Kurzbiographie, einer Inhaltsanalyse, bibliographischen Angaben, einer Übersicht über die Fachsprache und einem metrologischen Anhang.
  3. Books on language, words, etc

    Books on Crosswords, Counting-out Rhymes and some Riddle Books are in my Catalogue of Books on Recreational Mathematics, Etc. Crosswords have been mostly copied into this list.
  4. Note. French orthography is confused for several reasons. Accents are often omitted on capital letters and the usage of accents has changed over the last few c

    Note. French orthography is confused for several reasons. Accents are often omitted on capital letters and the usage of accents has changed over the last few centuries.
  5. Online Catalogue as on 28/01/2008

    Tips for examinees for appearing in competitive entrance examinations for admission to courses in universities/institution of higher learning in the saarc countries
  6. 5. Rationale and Purpose of the Module

    5. Rationale and Purpose of the Module The aim of the module is to introduce students to the basic techniques, language and principles of management accounting.
  7. Questions about science and the bible

    All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be duplicated, copied, translated, reproduced or stored mechanically, digitally, or electronically without specific, written permission of the author and publisher.
  8. Calendar for jesuits and friends

    This calendar is intended as an aid to conversation, preaching, and conversation. Karl Barth, in an often quoted sentence, said we should preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.
  9. Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy

    Written: Written in February 1908-October 1908; Supplement to Chapter IV, Section I—in March 1909 Published: Published in May 1909 in Moscow as a separate book by Zveno Publishers.

Другие похожие документы..