Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

Muskrat Love

Practical Muskrat Raising

Submitter: I don’t know how this escaped being weeded before, but it was probably due to its slim size (only 130 pages) and pristine condition (never checked out!). We’re a public library in a fairly rural area where muskrats are a native species, so topics like trapping might be of interest, but the information is so dated. Attitudes towards wearing fur have changed, and I’m sure there are regulations about starting a muskrat fur farm today that aren’t even addressed. I love the opening statement “The vocation of raising muskrats…has a strong appeal for the average American.” Yeah, we talk about our interest in raising muskrats every day around here. Not! And the book’s way of constantly referring to them as ‘rats makes the thought of a muskrat fur coat extra appealing. The really embarrassing part? We have a second copy at one of this at one of our branches!

Holly: This book was probably great in its day. In addition to Submitter’s points, I will add that it suffers from that old-timey formal, stilted language.  When we see a title like “Practical Muskrat Raising” these days, we expect something much more approachable.

Heads up: dead muskrats pictured below. Click through at your own risk!

More Critters:

Chinchilla Farming for Fun and Profit

Whitey and Whiskers

Crazy Cat Ladies

Animal Cruelty at the Science Fair

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The 80s Style in a Nutshell

Cristina Ferrare Style
How Have It In Every Part of Your Life
DeLorean and Cohen


If you were alive and paying attention in the 1980s, you might recognize Cristina as the 3rd wife of John DeLorean, designer of the Back to the Future car/time machine , Currently, Cristine can be seen on the Hallmark Channel’s show Home & Family and authoring cookbooks. This book is essentially the 80s in a nutshell. We have big hair, leg warmers, shiny fashions, Golden Door Spa diets, and of course a husband on trial (and aquitted) for cocaine trafficking.

Aside from the micro 80s experience, I can’t see a reason for a public library to hang on to this. To the public library holding this: What are you waiting for?

I will be in the back looking for my Jane Fonda exercise tapes if anyone needs me.


PS: I also found this somewhat recent pop culture reference on the show the Goldbergs and DeLorean’s daughter being not too enthusiastic over at Jalopnik.


More 80s Lifestyle:

New Year, New Body

Stress Busters!

Krystal Carrington Workout

Fabric Decorating

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A Calculated Weed

The Calculating Book: Fun and Games with Your Pocket Calculator

Submitter: [This] was in the library of my high school, a large school in a wealthy suburb, until May of this year! This book promises to teach tricks for calculators. However, there is a lot of talk about “overloading” the calculator with large numbers, like anything over eight digits, or giving it “lockjaw” (Huh?). Most modern calculators can handle at least twelve, and some can go even higher by displaying in scientific notation, so that’s no longer very accurate. There are some tricks that involve that thing where you flip the calculator upside down to spell words. Sadly, it does not mention that venerable classic of the calculator alphabet genre, 55378008. Graphing calculators, (i.e., the calculators most likely to be owned by the kind of people who find this stuff amusing) have moved away from the traditional seven-segment display and thus don’t make those letters anymore.

Holly: A reasonable choice for libraries in 1975, but this particular high school can probably do better. Kids are more interested in playing 2048 or Candy Crush than spelling 55378008 on calculators.


More Calculating Copies:

Problem Solving with Calculators

Calculate This!

Technology Fail

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