Rapture 1988 cover

On Borrowed Time

88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be in 1988
Whisenant
1988

Submitter: This may be the very definition of a book with outdated information. While doing some weeding I recently came across this gem that has somehow managed to remain in the stacks until 2022. We are an academic theological library, and while we try to represent a wide range of theological perspectives, it’s hard to imagine how this ever ended up in the collection. Interestingly, it seems that this is not Whisenant’s first or last attempt at predicting the end of the world.

Holly: Edgar Whisenant was a NASA engineer. Bet he was fun at cocktail parties…

Baby Names cover

What’s in a Name?

The New Baby Name Survey
Lansky
2007

Picture it: there I was, moving out the oldest baby name books from the non-fiction 900s, fairly impressed that they are mostly from the last five years and circulating at a reasonable rate.
Suddenly, I came upon this one, much older than the rest with pages starting to yellow and a paperback cover starting to do that thing where it separates into two distinct pieces of paper, sort of curling up at one edge.

What do I do? Look up my name, obvi. Then I looked up Mary, as one does.

Wow, every name seems to have a really depressing, negative description! Holly is “overly sweet…despite her poor upbringing.” Mary has “a conservative, mousy appearance.” Even biblical names! “Ham” says “what else can you expect when you hear the name Ham? It’s not surprising that people describe Ham as a piggish, rude, and dorky man. They also claim he’s sloppy, ignorant, and totally unappealing to women.” Tough break, dude.

I’m sure there are some nice descriptions that would make you look at your sweet baby and say, “Yes! Sarina is determined and goal oriented with lots of confidence and a sharp mind!” Just ignore the part where she’s also apparently a potential “conniving and snobby backstabber.” Focus on the good part.

Autism cover

Brain Balance

Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders – and What Parents Can Do Now
Melillo
2012

Submitter: People with autism have a hard enough time in life without being abused, threatened or discriminated against, and are invisible in mainstream society, so books, websites, etc. that spout hate, stereotypes and misrepresentations of autism harm the self-worth of already vulnerable people. The content of this book is no exception. (Click through to read more!)

Holly: Dr. Melillo’s Brain Balance Achievement Centers have definitely been criticized. Take a look at the external links on that Wikipedia page; especially the NPR piece.

Getting Married cover

The New Woman Gets Hitched

The new woman’s guide to getting married
McCord Leo
1982

Submitter: A reference question brought me into the wedding books collection and I came across this book. I was surprised it was still circulating with a checkout just last year. Toned and dated, I thought I was going to find a real humdinger – but the info in the book was not that bad. It’s still worth weeding and replacing with something more modern that includes up-to-date financials and includes non-heterosexual couples.

Holly: The photos! Absolutely stunning. Oh, wait…there aren’t any.

Workbook for Womans Guide to Business cover

Women Do Business

Workbook for a Woman’s Guide to Business and Social Success: A Personal Analysis Record
1983

Submitter: We found this workbook still sitting on the shelf, long after the actual textbook was weeded, 15 years ago! The work book is filled with the classic tropes of the era. Ladies need to be thin, pretty and submissive to make it in the working world. An ‘interesting’ glimpse into the past.

Holly: This. Is. Awful. Sections like “My Cosmetics and How I Will Apply Them,” “My Hair Care and Coiffure Arrangement Analysis,” and “Developing and Attractive Voice” make me want to vomit.

Fast Food Careers cover

Fast Food Careers

Opportunities in Fast Food Careers
Eberts and Gisler
1989

Submitter: I work in an academic library and this “career advice” book was still hanging out on the shelves in mid-2022. I was really surprised to see that there was an entire book dedicated to this topic. There are some chapters about the history of the fast food industry and what franchising entails but the majority of the book is dedicated to becoming the best possible customer servant you can be and climbing the ladder to middle management. The authors dedicate an entire chapter to the necessary educational credentials which is probably one chapter more than what is necessary. Check out the vintage photos!

Holly: High school courses in math, science, business, and computer science are helpful in just about any career, but and the idea that “Most home economics departments are now open to boys as well as girls…” (p.88) is beyond ridiculous in this day and age. It was in 1989 too, actually. The computer science examples miss the point of computerized fast food processes in this day and age, where every fast food restaurant has an app and point of sales systems are pretty complex. And yes, submitter is right that the photos are “vintage.” I’ll tell you one thing: anyone with fast food experience on their resume is worth a look in library service. They may be great at customer service, multitasking, and team work.

Knox Cookbook cover

Just No Gelatine!

The Knox Gelatine Cookbook
Rutledge Books, Inc, Knox Gelatine, Inc
1977

Submitter: Just in time for those summer gelatine/Jello salads – who wouldn’t want calico corn relish, creamy cranberry relish, or a zesty seafood appetizer in gelatine? The pictures just make my…mouth water would not be the right phrase. This one is off to the sale cart.

Holly: That corn thing looks disgusting, and I’ll eat just about anything! What was the obsession with gelatine in the 70s?? Especially paired with weird things like fish.

Mary: Jell-o-type products should only be used with fruit cocktail and maybe some whipping cream, if you want to be fancy. Even reading a recipe of one of these “savories” makes me gag.

Miami Vice Scrapbook

Miami Vice Scrapbook

Miami Vice Scrapbook
Friedman
1986

Submitter: In the 1980s, my mom worked for Tiger Beat and Right On! magazines and parlayed into a gig writing books about music and TV stars for Sharon Starbook, which included this illustrious tome.

Holly: It’s alive and well. (Not “well,” exactly, but it’s still out there!) Worldcat lists 19 holding libraries. 19 of you have some weeding to do. I’d love to see some interior shots of this book, though. If anyone wants to send some, I’ll update the post!