By Alex Dalenberg
January 10, 2013
Welcome to VintageLit.com, a production of the Dalenberg Library of Antique Popular Literature. This blog is a father-son joint effort between myself and my Dad, Dale D. Dalenberg, M.D.
Dad’s an orthopedic surgeon based in Ottawa, Kan. Me, I’m a freelance writer and aspiring entrepreneur in Brooklyn. As for the Dalenberg Library, that’s Dad’s name for the shelves and piles of yellowed, antique, rare or otherwise unique bundles of paper bound together with glue and staples that he’s been accumulating over the years. In addition to a healthy collection of vinyl, and other odds and ends.
But heres the thing. Dad isn’t just a collector. He actually reads the stuff. Voraciously. He’s a lifelong enthusiast for vintage books and literature and grew up reading the likes of Robert A. Heinlein and Andre Norton. He started collecting paperbacks in the early 1970s when they were about 75 cent, many of which he still owns. He still remembers buying a copy of Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke from the B. Dalton’s in Phoenix, Arizona with some pocket change that he earned in the neighborhood.
This grew into the some 600 antique dime novels, 3,000 comic books and several rooms full of paperbacks and vinyl records that he owns today. And this is where we start to see the beginnings of this blog. Probably 10 years ago or so, Dad started to write a newsletter with interesting tidbits about his holdings — the newsletter of the Dalenberg Library of Antique Popular Literature.
Yes, an actual printed newsletter, distributed via the U.S. Postal Service. Dad mailed out his newsletter to family and friends for years. Meanwhile I grew up to become the humble online content producer I am today. Finally I said to Dad, hey, you write down all this stuff, more people should probably read it.
And so this blog was born. Maybe we’re still missing the digital moment as blogs become passé — and you’ll probably have to wait another 15 years for the Dalenberg Library app — but there you have it. We’re hoping to use this space to unpack and rifle through some forgotten culture and highlight some of the cool stuff we come across. This is going to be a lot of vintage books, but look for the occasional post on film, art or music. I’m also hoping to cover some current events as they relate to vintage lit and antique pop culture.
Bottom line: This is bound to be an eclectic and more or less Dalenberg-y blog. I’ve even been promised a post on vintage cereals. Look for posts from Dr. D. He’ll be literally unpacking the library over the next couple months as he moves into new digs in Ottawa, KS. And I’ll be writing here as well.
Look for one or two posts a week to start out. In the meantime, be sure to check out our pilot post about Weep for Me, from the glory days of so-called “men’s fiction.”
Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy.