evel knieval cover

Motorcycle Daredevil

Evel Knievel
Motorcycle Daredevil
Schmitz
1978

If you are of a certain age, you will immediately recognize the name Evel Knievel. I was a teen during 1970s when Evel was doing his thing. He was always in the news taking his bike and jumping over stuff. Even if you knew nothing about stunt work, motorcycles or anything “daredevil”, everyone knew about Evel Knievel.

Even as a teen I wondered about a few things. Why was his name Evel? I really couldn’t grasp why someone would choose such a name. More importantly, I wondered why someone would take a motorcycle and jump over stuff. Evel was good at self-promotion and worked hard to keep his name in the news. Each jump was more elaborate then the last.

Spelling Reform cover

Spelling Reform

Spelling Reform: A New Approach
Lindgren
1969

Submitter: I found this Australian spelling reform book in an American Public Library. The problematic cover notwithstanding, this book discusses the author’s unique approach to teaching spelling, by removing some vowels. There is a wiki page all about this – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SR1

Holly: Seems like an odd choice for an American public library for sure. That cover is an absolute abomination! White man’s magic?? The actual spelling reform idea is interesting, though – said becomes sed, ready becomes redy, heifer becomes hefer, friend becomes frend…spelling in English would be a lot easier to both learn and teach this way! The author would have to give up favourite for favorit, though.

Reach a Superstar cover

Reach a Superstar

How to Reach Your Favorite Superstar
Stevens
2000

Submitter: How to reach your favorite superstar? In the case of Kobe an ouija board?

Holly: Oh, now, this is just sad. The one website listed in the examples submitted (See Rosie O’Donnell below) is defunct, and that was the only one with a URL given at all. I admit I’ve never heard of some of these folks, but just try and get ahold of ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys, or 98 Degrees. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Microwave Miracles cover

Microwave Miracles

Microwave Miracles from Sears
Sears, Roebuck and Company
1974

Submitter: The smell of this book makes me think someone tried some of those fish soup recipes back in 1974. Unless that is what the 70’s smelled like?

Holly: Oh good, fish in the microwave. Your coworkers will love you when you heat up your leftovers for lunch.

Children in Distress cover

Children in Distress

Children in Distress
Clegg and Megson
1979

Submitter: This book may have been a good choice back in 1979- maybe in England – but today the information is totally out of date. The financial information is in British Pounds and not very helpful to the American library where this book was found.
What really makes this awful is this yellowed, brittle, and out of date book was sent to the bindery recently instead of getting weeded!

Holly: I’m sure it was fine…in England…in 1979…but it’s weed-worthy now for sure! Not just weed-worthy, actually, but never really suited to an American public library in the first place. This item was selected, acquired, cataloged, processed, shelved, and possibly even checked out by patrons expecting something more relevant before it was weeded OVER 40 YEARS LATER! Remember, collection management isn’t just selection and weeding. Every stage I just mentioned was an opportunity for someone – anyone, in possibly multiple departments – to question its validity.

Bankruptcy cover

DIY Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy: Do it Yourself
Kosel
1980

Submitter: When I pulled this sad book off the shelf and read the title – I thought “Bankruptcy : do it yourself? Honey, us Millennials have been doing that for years…” This book comes with a disclaimer that it will be old, out of date, and should no longer be consulted at some point. Bankruptcy laws change frequently enough that this book is well past its shelf life.

Holly: It has that “typed on a typewriter in 1980” font, too. And look! A form copyrighted 1979. That oughta hold up in court.

Business the Amazon Way cover

Business the Amazon Way

Business the Amazon.com Way
Saunders
1999

Submitter: It’s an ancient book on Amazon. This book was written before Amazon was a verb, and when it was still focused on books. Does the book accurately predict the future? Probably not.

The business section ought to have books on how current companies do business, how to do business, small business information, and how to get grants, not really old books that are ridiculously outdated.

Holly: Amazon is a whole new animal 22 years later – and so are libraries.

Self-Defence for boys and men

Defend Yourself!

Self-Defense for Boys and Men: A Physical Education Course
Tegner
1969

Yikes, this one is an oldie, but a goodie. Over 10 years ago, we ran the lady version of this book Self-Defense for Girls by this same author. This title includes Men and Boys, but sadly the other book is just for girls. I guess the women are just out of luck.

Aside from the fact this book is being held together by tape, and has years of dirt ground into the cover, it’s really old. Separating the boys from the girls isn’t really appropriate in material like this. Yes, women and men have different issues when it comes to personal safety, but combining them into one book would actually be more helpful than having separate books.