Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

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Aunt Jenny’s Favorite Recipes
Lever Brothers Co.

Submitter: This came from the Home Economics section of a local library and was then donated with other treasures to the local High School library. 49 pages…many with pictures and captions like the attached….. book is a blatant advertisement for Spry (Lever Brothers)…notice the Goodhousekeeping Seal on back cover…From 1937 to 1956 CBS Radio featured “Aunt Jenny’s Real Life Stories” serial segments every day during the week for 15 minutes. The show was sponsored all those years by Spry and Aunt Jenny plugged Spry throughout the episodes.  One of the first “product placements”?  I know they made Spry after 1956, but don’t know how long.  This book has to date late 1940’s early 1950’s because it’s cued to the radio show.

Holly: WorldCat puts this book at “193-?”  so it is unclear what its actual publication date is.  This is really interesting, and I’d love to leaf through it.  It still doesn’t belong in either a public or high school library, though.

Mary:  My mother remembers Spry as a the shorthand term for shortening into the 50’s.  This is one of the best examples to date that need preservation in an archive, not in a public or school library.

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Just in time for holiday parties!

Better Homes & Gardens Guide to Entertaining

Submitter: I am attaching a cover scan of one of my favorites, copyright 1969. People this groovy can only be doing one thing. Look closely at the center of the photo….that’s right…it’s a fondue party!

Holly: Everyone seems to love these old books about entertaining. The decor and fashion are always…entertaining! This one has got to come off public library shelves. Put it in the book sale, folks!

Tis the Holiday Season

Better Homes & Gardens
Treasury of Christmas Crafts & Foods

Submitter: This is one tacky Christmas book from 1980. Yes, it has the “Better Homes and Gardens” cred, but open it up….yikes. 382 pages of a whole lot of needlepoint, quilting, homemade crap (er, crafts) and the gaudiest tablescapes that would horrify even Sandra Lee.   The “Beautiful Creche Figures” will give you nightmares. Check out the face of the little boy who is sitting among the plush dinosaurs- priceless!

Holly: Okay, I usually am the designated Scrooge, but I think even the most enthusiastic crafter would probably have issues living in this insane Christmas world.    Check out the mother daughter tea party.

Mary:  The needlepoint Holy Family is just plain scary.  (At least I think that is the Holy Family…)

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