from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A book of reference for desk use; a hand-book for ready reference, as in matters of spelling or the like.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It was the open book in the house the desk-book in the shop, the pocket-book in the field, the guide-book on the road.
For mere reading I suppose one book is pretty much as good as another; but the choice of a desk-book is a more serious matter.
For those, particularly Brits, who have no style-book of their own, for all who like their prose to be ship-shape and Bristol fashion, for anybody who has worried about how to spell Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist or how and what Planck's constant is, this is a useful quick desk-book.