10 Most Awful Library Books Ever

Posted by Jillian Madison on July 31, 2009

As the site owners describe it, AwfulLibraryBooks posts – and lampoons – some of the funniest, most unfortunate books ever written. Librarians Holly & Mary feature books they stumble upon that are “amusing and maybe questionable for public libraries trying to maintain a current and relevant collection.” They were nice enough to put together a Best of the Worst collection for Pophangover. Check it out, and be sure to visit their site for many more!

10. What’s Wrong With My Snake? (Rossi, 1996)
This is a good one because, while there’s nothing wrong with the information in the book, it has a really funny cover! We do not recommend weeding this one from library collections because it useful. “Awful Library Books” means lots of things: awful choices for the current collection, awful choices for the type of library, lack of credibility, authority, or relevancy, an unusual or obscure premise, or an awful cover…like this one!

9. Do-It-Yourself Coffins: For Pets and People (Power, 1997)

Build your own coffin and use it as a coffee table until you die! We died laughing at the premise of this, but it isn’t necessarily a bad choice for public libraries.

8. A Passion for Donkeys (Svendsen, 1988)
Our anonymous submitter said “I like to think I’m open-minded, but anyone with a passion for donkeys probably needs psychiatric help.” It’s a fine book for public libraries in areas where donkeys are…um…”popular” but too funny a premise not to post.

7. Vans: The Personality Vehicles (Dexler, 1977)
This book is unusual, nostalgic, and an example of something that was really cool in 1977 when it was published. It most definitely does not belong on the shelves of the small public library that submitted it, but what a great display item or book sale find. Time to move it on to an archive, museum, or other historical collection.

6. Good Housekeeping’s Guide for Young Homemakers (William Laas, ed. 1966)
This book is unusual, nostalgic, and an example of something that was really cool in 1977 when it was published. It most definitely does not belong on the shelves of the small public library that submitted it, but what a great display item or book sale find. Time to move it on to an archive, museum, or other historical collection.

5. Moving Through Pregnancy (Bing, 1975)
Any pregnancy advice book a public library offers their patrons should be more current than this! Its 34 years old! The pictures are dated and the advice is dated.

4. Hanging Out: The Upside Down Exercise Book (Jay & Rappaport, 1983)
This one is old AND has an awful cover! We just cracked up when we saw this one. The guy in short-shorts looks like Borat! Even if upside down exercises are still useful, this book is too irrelevant for public library shelves.

3. Indiana Jones Explores the Incas (Malam, 1996)
This is a book about Inca culture. What we can’t figure out is why on earth Indiana Jones seems to be overlooking a major Inca traffic jam. Its credibility is questionable:


2. The Love Bugs: A Natural History of the V.D.s (Stiller, 1974)
This book was found on a public library’s Teen section shelves. It’s full of 1974 information about sexually transmitted infections/diseases (“the V.D’s”). First of all, no one calls them “love bugs” anymore. Secondly, you can see the tape in the scan holding the cover together. Time for an upgrade to something more current!

1. Dee Snider’s Teenage Survival Guide (Snider, 1987)
This is my all-time favorite ALB post. I outted myself as a metal head and admitted that I love Dee Snider’s radio show, House of Hair. Mary thought Dee Snider was a character from the TV show “The Facts of Life” (wrong…Dee was a character on “What’s Happening”). Even though I think Dee Snider is still brilliant, his book of teen advice from 1987 is too old to be taken seriously by today’s teens.

facebook comment widget