Primo Ping Pong

Table Tennis cover

The Book of Table Tennis – How to Play the Game

Submitter: Recently weeded from a Public Library. An entire black and white book dedicated to how to play table tennis. There are pictures to demonstrate every type of grip, service, return, and defensive move. Simple warm up stretches (including the ever important finger pull and palm press) are also demonstrated by Glenn Cowan and his beautiful long and flowy hair. This book got a laugh from both our youngest librarian, who was born 18 years after publication, and the rest of the staff who remember the 70s well.

Holly: The finger pull! Ha ha ha! Seriously, though, that guy looks like he is seriously in pain (see images below).

Head and neck rotation

ankle twist and wrist shake

Around the House and Toe Tuch to Side



  1. I love the wrist shake/ankle twist. He looks ready to star in a zombie movie. Thanks for the laughs, ladies.

  2. Based on the publication date, I’m wondering if this book was marketed in response to the US-China ping-pong matches that took place beginning in 1971 (and referenced in the film “Forrest Gump”).

    1. It probably was. Cowan was the guy who got the whole “ping-pong diplomacy” thing started when, at the world table tennis championships in Japan, he missed the US team’s bus back to the hotel and got on the Chinese bus instead (Chairman Mao let the Chinese compete there b/c he kind of hoped something like that would happen)

  3. Just from a graphic point of view, the pictures for the Toe Touch to Side and Around the House are not taken at a good vantage point. The fence post or whatever’s behind Cowan creates a visual effect that should have been avoided.

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