Time to Weed

ecology cover

Time, Inc

The Time-Life Books have always been popular back in the 1970s. I remember them being advertised on TV. They were like a subscription series or book of the month club. We have a featured a few here, here, and here.

I know these Time-Life series books might still be popular with some folks depending on the topic. However, I am going to say that some of the science topics probably need to go in favor of more up to date information. Given that some of these sets had multiple volumes, space consideration could also be a factor. The western series I still see on the shelves in many libraries, so I think that series still has some fans.

For the most part, these books are weedable but they do represent a time before the Internet was the source of information. You have my permission to be sentimental when you weed these books.




science lab



  1. Some info in these is old and I can understand the need to free up space, but wow, these books had some great diagrams and illustrations. You can indeed get a lot of information online, but often it is the same material repeated or even copied over and over again, unless you really dig and are willing to unearth papers and the like.

  2. My 10 year old nephew loves almanacs, Guinness books, encyclopedias, etc. I wouldn’t recommend these, that came out when I was 10 years old, but there is something great about seeing a child entranced by non-fiction.

    1. The reason I have so many frickin’ reference books as an adult is that the library wouldn’t check out the books with R on the spine.

  3. We had those when I was a kid. I think bro might still have them? They were really good for the time (although 100% white cis het). So many great pictures. And you could use them as references for papers, unlike the encyclopedia.

    But wow. Everything about all of them is completely out of date by now. The book about space flight went all the way up to Apollo!

    For you young’uns: this was published the same year as the very first Earth Day, but with the lead time they had, probably doesn’t include it. Very zeitgeist, much topical

    Put them in the book sale; someone with fond memories will snap them up. Or an artist will enjoy using the pictures to make new art with.

  4. They also had an excellent science/space series at about the same time. Which would be even farther out of date, but again the pictures were great.

  5. My middle school library had the WWII set and I went through all of it. It was a pretty balanced look as far as I recall, particularly as to the Pacific War. It didn’t whitewash the horror of the atomic bombings, but didn’t shy away from Japanese atrocities either. What struck me the most was how the books often pointed out that many of the places Japan invaded didn’t like their colonial masters all that much and some thought they would be treated better by the Japanese, only to quickly learn they’d simply traded one yoke for another.

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