More Ovaltine, Please!

Big Book of Family GamesBig Book of Family Games

This book is just too sickeningly sweet to be real!  It’s old and lame.  Wrong?   No.  Just outdated.  There are a few games in it that require “a lady’s hankie” (when was the last time you saw a “lady,” let alone one with a hankie?), a rotary dial telephone, or a 5 cent stamp. There are a lot of great family games books out there that are a lot more current and exciting, with more intriguing covers.  People judge books by the cover?  You bet they do!



  1. I love the fact that everyone on the cover is smiling happily: except the dad, who is glaring at the curly-haired tot in the bottom left corner, who in turn looks shocked at this unprovoked aggression. Am I the only one who sees that?

    (Great blog btw, just stumbled across it a few days ago. Keep up the good work!)

  2. Had to go to the library yesterday to fulfill an MLS book report requirement to get a nonfiction book that was from 1995 or before (which I couldn’t find in the university libary), which had two literary reviews. I let slip to a reference librarian there why I was in that day. She was shocked they had any references that old! The real kicker came when I went to the genealogy section and found 2004 AND 2008 editions of Genealogy Online for Dummies. I chose 2008 for personal purposes. 2004 would have been way out of date on this! I didn’t tell them about the successive editions yet. Can’t imagine why this was still on the shelf.

    Not on subject, but another example of keeping books a bit past their prime. But I don’t think circ statistic weeding is entirely the way to go, either.

    1. One of the key things Holly and I discuss is that everything must be considered with selection and de-selection. Who are the patrons? What does the community need? Is it popular? Limited space also means difficult choices. Just depending on date published or circ is not enough. Each community is unique. Just because we decide in our corner of Michigan that something isn’t a good fit does not mean that it isn’t worth something in another community/library. However, that does not preclude me from making fun of it!
      Happy 4th of July!

      1. Absolutely … and I am laughing right along with you! There are books I read all the time at the library in Seattle that I simply cannot get in Indianapolis. I’ve really been working with my ideas about collection development, censorship, evaluation, etc., though, and doing a lot of writing to myself on the matter. Your blog is comic relief and a reminder that I’m not the only one who wonders why we’re still circulating party books from 1957. Did we even have microwaves then?

  3. woodsiegirl,

    I noticed the angry dad and startled tot too. Did you know the dad is smoking a pipe? I wonder how long it will be before the book cover is covered up with all the hype against nicotine and cigarettes. Since it seems today that if it’s bad if we pretend it doesn’t exist then it doesn’t exist.

  4. Between the cover and the “lady’s hankie,” this is bringing up memories. I think we may have had this book when I was a kid. Then again, it may have been a library book!

  5. I love that cover!

    I wonder if there is value in keeping a book like this for historic/nostalgic value. Something for readers who “get it” to have fun reading, even if the actual ideas are out of date.

  6. I love this cover! And ladies hankies and dads with pipes and rotary dial phones.
    I think one of the values of your blog is that you are recovering for us that which you may be discarding.
    If I lived near your library I’d surely peruse that cardboard box/ table-top in the lobby.
    Do librarians have a word for book-addicts that are into useless books?
    I just like oddball graphics and ideas.

  7. I think we had that book when I was growing up. Or at least a book month the same theme and art style.

    Even in the late 70’s / early 80’s it was dated but the art is terrific and so are (where?) many of the games. My brother and I taught many of our college friends Botticelli(now also enjoyed on car trips by my 13 and 10 year old sons). Werewolf and its variants are in the book as well as being all over as forum games. My younger some Cub Scout pads lores Charades. Overall I think the book might be old but the games inside are still relevant.

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