Awful Library Books

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Be America’s Next Top Model

How to Break into Modeling coverHow to Break into Modeling
Orenstein
1987

Submitter: I work at an academic fashion library and we have a very small section of books on modeling in the fashion industry. Just last week I pulled this mid-1980s advice book out of our collections. It’s a safe bet our students were not even born when this book was originally published. How to Break into Modeling contains a wealth of detailed advice for would-be models, including:
-Your haircut says a lot about you. It can say, “I’m a professional” or “I’m wild!” or “I mean business” or “I like to party.”
-If you’re wearing shoulder pads for a head shot, make sure they’re lying correctly and not popping up or sliding down your shoulders.
-The body type required for fashion models in the eighties happens to be very androgynous, so breasts, hips, and thighs are “out,” but the standards and politics of beauty are changing all the time. Perhaps very womanly figures will be the trend again. (Me: Wishful thinking?)
-Men aspiring to modeling careers should pay extra attention to updating their look and taking care of their hands—things that don’t come naturally to many men.

Holly: Oh for crying out loud. Glad you caught this one, Submitter. What a ridiculous book for a current fashion library! Also, Submitter and I chatted about how those striped leotards, pictured below, were standard issue in the 80s. They’re in every workout photo of that decade! As Submitter put it: “I’m pretty sure the striped leotards were issued to you when you bought a copy of Olivia Newton John’s ‘Physical’ to dance to.” Ha!

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Horse Play

I'll be the Horse coverI’ll Be the Horse If You’ll Play With Me
Alexander
1975

Submitter: I’ll Be the Horse If You’ll Play With Me…..well the cover just says it all! While weeding our picture books I came across this 1975 gem. I did a double take when I read the cover. It’s just the wording that tripped me up. The little girl is offering to be the horse. I opened the book expecting to see her sitting on his back, galloping around. The older brother is actually just reclining on pillows on a kart while his little sister pulls him around. He finally agrees to give her a turn, but only if she lets him use her brand new crayons. The big bully uses up all her paper and then decides they should play cops and robbers instead. So now we move on from being a horse to being the one tied up (the robber). There’s another boy, perhaps another older brother and he offers to play with her. It’s this great little game called 52 Pickup. He throws the deck up in the air and then tells her to pick up all 52 cards. Poor kid can’t catch a break. Not even her dog or cat will play with her. She then happens upon her younger brother who is pulling the same kart with a doll in it. She gets this look on her face and then the last page is her reclining like a queen while he is the horse pulling her. I’m not sure what the lesson is here exactly….Take advantage of the weaker one?

Holly: Ha ha ha! This could be titled “Holly’s Childhood.” I am a middle child, so my older sister pulled stunts like this on me and I, in turn, tortured my little sister. Good times. Also, every time we asked my Dad to play cards, his signature answer was “Let’s play 52 Pick Up!”

I was born one year before this was published, making it 42 years old. I bet it circulated like crazy over the years, but it might raise some eyebrows in 2017.

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Pillow Talk in the Craft Section

pillow parade cover

12 Pillow Parade
Pillows for Young and Old Alike
1976

One of my collection responsibilities is arts and crafts, so I keep running into my fair share of bizarre crafts and outdated materials. In one of my library related day dreams, I imagine a craft fair featuring nothing but the craft projects featured here on ALB. Think of it! Applehead Dolls, crocheted vests and jewelry and of course all the home decor found here, here and here. (I think I should pitch this as a program during Halloween. Talk about scary!)

Today we have some decorative pillows. The construction techniques are okay, but they have posed the pillows outside, with the animals. Maybe these particular pillows are in their natural habitat? I am not sure I would want those pillows back in the house after hanging with the animals.

Mary

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