Chilton 1980-1987

Fix It or Forget It

Chilton 1975-81Chilton’s Import Car Repair Manual 1975-81
Chilton Book Company
1981

Chilton’s Import Car Repair Manual 1980-1987
Chilton Book Company
1987

Submitter: I recently was assessing circulation on my library’s old Chilton’s manuals. The attached two manuals have not circulated in 10+ years – possibly because both are missing huge chunks of the text. Which was noted with these lovely contact-paper-covered labels. There was definitely some internal screaming over here when I ran across these two.

Columbus cover

Columbus Day Fail

Columbus
D’Aulaire
1955

Submitter: We had a homeschool family Interloan this book for schooling purposes. We are so glad it is NOT on our shelves nor will it be. Reviews praise the artwork but that does not save this book. Besides the fact it is quite old with original copyright of 1955, it is just all wrong for educating children about Columbus. Using terms of “red skin savages” and “yellow skin” and “slanty eyes” is not acceptable; it is all stereotypes and glorifying the “white explorers” who save everyone they discover. This book will only teach you all the wrong facts about Columbus!

Holly: Not to mention it’s all highlighted and scribbled in!

Christian Cyberspace Companioan

Christians in Cyberspace

Christian Cyberspace Companion: A Guide to the Internet and Christian Online Resources
Baker
1997

Submitter: I recently found this book in my local library collection. Even better my library has both editions.

Holly: I thought maybe this was one of those directories of Christian websites, but it is actually just a book for computer beginners. According to Google Books, “Beginners learn how to choose equipment and software, while experienced net surfers are provided with a glossary of cyberspace terms, the news of coming advances, and much more.” I’m not sure what advice there is for Christian computer beginners vs. any other beginner…anyone seen the insides of this book? Is it based on Bible lessons or something?? I don’t get it. It is wayyyyy to old to be useful to anyone of any faith.

Bilingual Letters and Applications cover

Bilingual Letters And Applications

Bilingual letters and applications
Ammar
[date of publication not identified]

Submitter: Chapter IX LETTERS REGARDING LOVE, ROMANCE AND MARRIAGE [sic] contains all you need to know about getting rid of all those unwanted female children through arranged marriage. It seems that you can place an advertisement for that pesky daughter in a local newspaper and decide which of the respondents is most worthy to take her off your hands. It goes without saying that the daughter has no say in any of this. This sort of thing seems shocking enough in the original Urdu, but becomes scarily amusing when rendered into English.

Blood Brothers cover

Friday Fiction – Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers
Price
1976

Submitter: This cover is… wow. I’m currently weeding my public library’s adult fiction collection. This particular book last checked out just five years ago in 2015, surprisingly enough. This appears to be a first edition from 1976, and the address stamped in the front of the book is from three library locations ago! The description on the dust jacket begins: “The De Cocos of Co-op City are a family of hard hats who think with their hands and kill with their love.” Judging by the Goodreads reviews, this was a pretty popular book at the time and was made into a movie. Dwindling circulation, a seriously dated cover, and poor condition mean it’s time for this classic to go. One of my co-workers described the cover as “A depressed Freddie Mercury-Sylvester Stallone amalgam is comforted by a younger Paul Dooley as Judd Hirsch looks on.”

Holly: Spot on.

Feminist cover

Can I Be a Feminist and Still Like Men?

Ma, can I be a feminist and still like men?: Lyrics From Life
Hollander
1980

Submitter: I work in a small academic library and I can’t figure out how this supports coursework at all. We regularly review the collection and have undergone a couple of major weeds in the last few years and yet this one is still around?

From another staff member: I think it’s safe to say it didn’t age well. While it’s trying to point out ironies of gender roles, it really does revert to sweeping ideas that “All men are one way” and “All women are trying to conform.” Plus, the idea that exposure to Sandra Dee and taking up motherhood is synonymous with throwing your life away.

In short, this book does not fit the mission of our library or the current century, so it must go!

Holly: It also looks a little old and stickered up…and don’t even get me started on barcodes that cover titles!

What is Cancer cover

What is Cancer, Anyway?

What is Cancer, Anyway?: Explaining Cancer to Children of All Ages
Carney
1999

Submitter: This book, designed to help children cope with cancer, is more confusing and just plain weird than anything I’ve seen in a long time. Also, WTF is up with that entity on the cover? It is blonde child with a skin condition? Is it a dog in a wig? Why is it wearing mascara?!

Holly: I don’t find the text in the excerpts pictured below to be particularly child-friendly. The vocabulary is pretty sophisticated. And yeah – weird anthropomorphism. When they’re too human it’s creepy, not cute.