Weird news: Unloved books

by Rhode

Tweeting about a book that sat on the shelves for 27 years…A little Totebag love for the “unloved” books.

Bookstore’s Tweet On The Sale Of A Children’s Book After 27 Years Goes Viral

What’s the oddest title in your collection (print or digital)? Or the oddest “section” of books if you’re like me and organize your shelves by topic then author?

(At work, I have “A Treatise on Limnology”… I very rarely talk/research about lakes, but I own a book that is 2 inches thick all about them.. We won’t talk about the book on managing wastewater.)

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36 thoughts on “Weird news: Unloved books

  1. I love this story. I can’t think of any usual titles in my book collections (we have purged so many books in the last year), but I do have a few books dedicated to Canada’s political history that I’ve had for twenty years. I should probably purge those.

  2. I have so many old books that need to be purged. At one point I was into Callanetics, apparently to build a perky butt.

    And I see the Esquire Party Book: For Entertaining Around the Clock from the 1960s is still on our bookshelf. I’m surprised to learn that Esquire is still around. Esquire – Men’s Fashion, Cocktails, Politics, Interviews, and Women
    https://www.esquire.com/

    I had forgotten we lived such swinging, exciting lives back then!

  3. I looked at home. Besides some of my dad’s books, we’ve purged a lot of oddball titles. I’m developing quite a military history section…

    I know I’m the only of my friends with a child rearing section! Ha!

    Is it bad that my kids received enough board games that I need to remove a shelf of books to accommodate? Is that anti-Totebag??? Lol!

  4. Something about that story makes me feel sad. It is like the kitty at the pet shelter who waits and waits for someone to take him. Even sadder is the fact that as a kid, I would have liked a book on William the Conqueror

  5. People always gave my kids board games for Christmas but they rarely got played. I think the kids preferred to get books.

  6. “Is it bad that my kids received enough board games that I need to remove a shelf of books to accommodate? Is that anti-Totebag??? Lol!”

    No, because board games are even totebaggier than books. Now if you were replacing books with video game consoles or skateboards, that would be anti-Totebag

  7. We donated some books to our library, and tossed other books after Thanksgiving. We don’t like to get rid of books so we had a lot of books, but many books were in bins/boxes. The books used to be on bookshelves, but we removed them over the years whenever we painted or renovated a room.

    I did find a bunch of old travel guides from countries that DH visited before google maps or google translate. The only strange book I found was a cookbook that was for the George Foreman grill. We use the grill, but it looks like someone gave us the Foreman cookbook as a gift. I never opened the cookbook until last month when I was trying to sort books for donation or trash. Our school has a book swap every year so we try to persuade DD to donate some books each year. Our town library has a used book sale every year so they will take current books in good/used condition for resale.

  8. I agree with Mooshi about the board games. very tote baggy. There is a funny line in the movie, Instant Family about Candyland. We still have A LOT of board games, but I am very happy that we no longer have to play Candyland. DD asked for Cards Against Humanity for Hanukkah. It changes the meaning of family game night…big difference from the G rated Apples to Apples game.

  9. We did get Candyland!! And we’ve played it only 5,000 times since Xmas morning.

    Currently the favorite toys are Rocktapus, a marble run, and a car garage. Favorite book is Don’t Pust The Button Christmas.

  10. DD is now interested in Chutes and Ladders and I’m still tired of that game from my first three children. You think you are FINALLY almost done and then you hit the big chute. We encourage card and board games and it works in part because we have three so close in age.

  11. I love Candyland. Something about the mindlessness of it. A favorite game this year is Hydrostrike. Lots of fun to play. I got a few puzzles for Christmas and have enjoyed spending the last few evenings working on them. I forgot how much I love putting together a puzzle.

    Several months ago I threw out the Lonely Planet and Fodors travel books. Lots of memories of European travels in those books, but they are now outdated and everything is on the internet now. It felt good to give them the heave ho!

  12. Mooshi, DH and I went to the NYC Historical Society in October for the first time. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as we did. There was a lot to see.

    I really need to purge our books, too. Especially all the baby and childcare books.

  13. My DD loved Chutes and Ladders and Candyland. We played both games for many, many years. She still likes to play Monopoly and we have multiple versions of Monopoly. I am happy because she learned to play Mahjong at a friend’s house. I love to play Mahjong, but it really does require four players so I have to teach DH and find a friend. We recently taught him how to play Rummikub, and that is a good game for the there of us. My friends like to play Rummikub when the kids are in camp because it is much easier to learn vs mahjong.

  14. We just purged most of the kids’ books and donated them to the school book sale. But we still have a ton of mostly DW’s books. I would like to get rid of them but she refuses. We don’t have any really odd ones.

    Several months ago I threw out the Lonely Planet and Fodors travel books. Lots of memories of European travels in those books, but they are now outdated and everything is on the internet now. It felt good to give them the heave ho!

    I still like to use travel books. Yeah, all the info is online, but I like looking through the books.

  15. I feel the same way about cookbooks. I love to read cookbooks even though i can get so many recipes online or watch videos about how to make something.

  16. I like cookbooks because they have a lot of commentary in them which gives context. I also like travel books although I have switched to buying the kind with lots of pictures and cultural description because I know I can use TripAdvisor for basic listings. I particularly like Insight Guides. https://www.amazon.com/Insight-Guides-South-Korea/dp/1780059310/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1546042876&sr=1-11&refinements=p_n_feature_fourteen_browse-bin%3A5483155011

  17. We get a lot of board and card games for Christmas each year. We are still trying to win Forbidden Island without cheating. Just got Forbidden Sky and Pandemic (and a few others).

    IMHO Chutes and Ladders is the most evil children’s game there is. I cannot tell you how many tears have been shed over that game in our house. I truly loathe it.

  18. I’m going to see if anyone wants to play Rummikub around here. Sometimes the tactile aspect of handling tiles or other game pieces is a significant part of enjoying a game. That’s part of the reason I like Dominoes. I’ve never played Mahjong.

    For now I’ll keep my Audubon field guides. I still occasionally use them, in conjunction with Google. Does anyone else have these?

  19. Rummikub is great for travel too because the tiles don’t blow away if you’re sitting outside by a pool or on a deck.

    We’re going back to the city today to do some touristy stuff. We’re going to lower Manhattan because DD wants to see the Oculus and sone other sites that are near the World Trade Center.

  20. I never heard of Rummikub!

    Lauren, we have been treating this whole week as NYC vacation. Just doing the kinds of things we would do if we were tourists in the city. We are heading to the Whitney tomorrow to see the Andy Warhol exhibit.

  21. We have books but we regularly purge them as the kids outgrow them. Same thing with toys and games, though DD has a few.
    I kept all the Fodor’s guides and all the cookbooks though. I find, I get overwhelmed with stuff if I don’t regularly ask the kids to clean out their closets and the bookshelves.
    We don’t have a basement so no space to put things out of sight. If DD takes Art, I expect more space to be devoted to art supplies in the coming years. We are not that Totebaggy. DS got a another monitor, more computer memory and a few new XBOX games this Christmas.

  22. I think the most Totebaggy gift so far is from SIL. She sent the kids vegetable and salad growing kits. What can be more Totebaggy than growing and eating your own veggies ?

  23. “I like cookbooks because they have a lot of commentary in them which gives context”

    Interesting–I like cookbooks because they *don’t* have as much commentary as these blathery websites that go on and on about something the author thinks is tangentially related before they finally get to the recipe! I looked at one for lasagna today and thought they had forgotten the actual recipe. There were lists of the components that go into it and how to stack the layers, but then you had to scroll way down past the yakking and lots of links to other recipes to finally find the list of ingredients and actual recipe. PITA when you’re standing in the grocery store trying to figure out what kind of meat you need. With a book, I can locate the recipe as soon as I turn the page.

  24. “Interesting–I like cookbooks because they *don’t* have as much commentary as these blathery websites that go on and on about something the author thinks is tangentially related before they finally get to the recipe!”

    Oh yeah, I hate those too. And the ones with endless photos of every last darn step, which I have to scroll through to finally get to the actual recipe. But the difference is that cookbooks have an editor, a key person whose role it is to keep the book coherent. Many of the typical websites out there, especially the ones with the cutesie names (“Dad Cooks!” “Sweet n’Sour Life”, “Sweetheart Country Cookin'”), lack editors. I usually avoid those. There are some great cooking websites out there, in particular NYTimes Cooking and Serious Eats, but those have editors too.

  25. But for example, I got interested in Burmese cooking because of a friend from there, and bought a cookbook on the topic which contained a lot of text explaining the geography and how the styles in different regions reflect that, and other kinds of cultural context. Also it had lots of description of ingredients. I think that is really important when you are trying to cook something outside of your own culture.

  26. Mooshi, it was very crowded downtown, but DD really enjoyed the visit. Bonus is all of the free rides on Metro North because so many of our friends are not using their monthly.

  27. Mooshi, we have the Insight Guide for New Zealand.

    In my continuing search for a Quicken replacement, I gave up on Moneyspire. There were too many things that really annoyed me. I’m not trying Moneydance and that is looking like it is a keeper. There are one or two minor annoyances I’ve bound, but I can live with them. And it is so much faster than Quicken.

  28. Just back from 2 days at my in-laws’. Why is it that the air quality in other people’s houses is never correct? We took the kids to see the Spiderman movie, which was pretty good.
    Oddest kids’ book we have is called “Emily and Her Cavalier”, which is about a HS girl who is really into ballet, and it’s really poorly written but I haven’t gotten rid of it for some reason.

  29. L, I’m not sure what you mean by “correct”, but it’s different because it’s not what you are used to. And people become acclimated to the odors and such in their own house and don’t notice them. My mom smoked when I was growing up and I had no idea how bad our house smelled until I came back after my first semester away at college.

  30. “Bonus is all of the free rides on Metro North because so many of our friends are not using their monthly.”

    Another bonus is the elimination of gender id on commuter tickets so we have more flexibility on using someone else’s monthly ticket. (Until they start requiring electronic tickets.) I also happened to be downtown on Saturday and the long line outside the World Trade Center wrapped at least once around the building. It was cold!

  31. Originally I was planning to take today off but DW has to work and the two college kids are away, and I woke up at 6am without an alarm, so figured what the hell, I’ll work the morning, go to the gym. By the time I get home we can decide what we’re going to do for dinner. I was going to grill but it’s supposed to pour from about 5pm on and I don’t feel like dealing with grilling in the rain. And by dinner, I mean just dinner at a normal hour. Not trying to find a NYE celebration place.

    Actually I’ve gotten a lot of stuff done in the 2 hours I’ve been in the office.

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