Friday, March 19, 2010

Awful Library Books

Behold, Awful Library Books, a blog run by two librarians from Michigan with a mission: to weed out all of those outdated, odd, and just plain awful books from their and other libraries. The format is plain and simple: each post features one book, with its cover and perhaps a few other images, and then a brief riff and/or description. They have been doing the same old song and dance since April 2009 and have garnered a surprising amount of press, from the usual dozens and dozens of run-of-the-mill blogs, to prominent websites like BoingBoing and MomLogic, to mainstream media like Time -- heck, the two even made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Behold, the first and last time I post a clip from that show on this blog:

The two librarians started with their own library, but I imagine that eventually went a little dry. Now, they receive numerous submissions from people around the world. Most of them, unfortunately, are of the "har, har, this book is old" variety. "Oh look, this girl has hair and clothing that was fashionable in the 80s but now is not!" And then there is the outdated, (more openly) misogynist stuff: "A woman's place in [the world] is on her back!"

Much as I like to disagree with those fair and balanced, imaginary people I quoted up there, I have to admit, the routine gets a little old. They are probably all the rage amongst other librarians -- I bet some even envy them. But that squeaky clean, "librarian humor" is just not for me. (Picture, for a moment, me as a librarian.... Yes, I too am glad that's over!)

Nevertheless, if you stick around long enough, they uncover gems like those shown in the clip above. And if you lust for more, PopHangover has a list of their ten favorite (awful) books, and the duo themselves compiled a list of their favorite books of 2009 And, oh yeah, don't forget my personal favorite, Crafts for (The?) Retarded:

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