11 Weird Books That Really Exist
With more than 300,000 books published yearly in the United States alone, editors and publishing companies have to be discerning about what titles they choose to release. Although not every author’s masterwork is cut out for The New York Times Best Seller list, there are some books that are just so downright bizarre that it’s hard to imagine anyone reading them at all. Online bookseller AbeBooks collects the best and strangest in its Weird Book Room, which is full of gems like these.
1. Dating for Under a Dollar: 301 Ideas
Don’t be so quick to label buyers of this book a cheap date. Keep in mind that Dating for Under a Dollar was published over a decade ago in 1999; adjusting for inflation, a dollar then was equivalent to a whopping $1.34 today. That’s more than enough to buy a candy bar or a small order of fast food fries, which sounds like a nifty date to me! A single dollar isn’t quite equal to the selling price of Blair Tolman’s book, but the extra few dollars would probably be worth it for 299 better frugal dating ideas than mine.
2. The Best Fences
As the old proverb (sort of) goes, the best fences make the best neighbors. Never settle for less.
3. How to Land a Top-Paying Pierogi Makers Job
Unemployment rates are high for everyone right now, dumpling chefs included. With no recipes, this “complete guide to opportunities” is only good for seasoned pierogi professionals.
4. Teach Your Wife to Be a Widow
It’s best to be prepared.
5. Treat Your Own Neck
In the days before hypochondriacs could be satisfied (or spurred on) by a quick WebMD search for symptoms like “stiff elbow” or “sore ankles,” Spinal Publications New Zealand Ltd. and physical therapist Robin McKenzie released a handy paperback guide to self-care for all neck-related problems. Reviews of the book range from “highly recommend!” to a warning that some of the exercises might be “quite harmful” to those with pre-existing arthritis. Exercise caution when reading.
6. Does God Ever Speak Through Cats?
This is one of those pressing questions the Bible, the Torah, and the Qu’ran all neglected to answer.
7. Bodybuilders in Tutus
This is, unfortunately, not an illustrated coffee table book, but a cleverly titled collection of marketing advice essays. Well done, Philipp Lomboy: you sold us.
8. Whose Bottom Is This?
This concept was apparently so good that two different publishers have used it. The illustrated Whose Bottom Is This? is a hardcover lift-the-flap guessing game for children ages 1 to 3. Those same children can then graduate a few years later to Wayne Lynch’s photographic series of books, which include the posed posteriors of “hippos, rhinos, bighorn sheep, pin-tailed ducks, and more.” It might be good preparation for a child’s first field trip to the zoo, so long as someone teaches them what animals look like from the front as well.
9. The Lull Before Dorking
There’s no readily available information on this reprinted 1871 collection of British pamphlets, but the titular “dorking” might either refer to a market town just south of London, or to a breed of five-toed English domestic fowl. Feel free to leave your speculation as to what The Lull Before Dorking could possibly mean in the comments below.
10. The New Radiation Recipe Book
To clarify: “Radiation” was a brand of automated gas cooker.
11. Liberace: Your Personal Fashion Consultant
Finally, there exists a practical guide for the style-challenged masses. Who wouldn’t want to mix sequins and fringe, stars and argyle, or knee socks and short-shorts like the world’s highest-paid entertainer?