The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Awful Library Books

A friend recently directed me to a newish book blog called Awful Library Books. It's a submission-based blog--for and by librarians--containing scans and summaries of book culled from library collections for being particularly dated, absurd or politically incorrect.

It's an entertaining read and I'm actually seeing a number of books I would snap up at an FOL sale for my shop (like this teen inspirational title by Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider).

Reading this blog has hi-lighted for me the difference in outlook between a public librarian and a bookdealer. Librarians want titles with a broad, current appeal and a long shelf-life while bookdealers seek titles for which a specific and rarified audience will pay through the nose.

Ironically though--if this blog becomes widely enough read--librarians will probably start getting requests for these titles again.


shushie said...

This is what makes being a librarian hard for me: the job of discarding interesting but outdated materials on how to build fallout shelters in the basement or Elvis conspiracy books in favor of titles with a potentially longer shelf life (the planetary demotion of Pluto) or shiny new biographies on all those High School Musical kids. The end result is I take a lot of the disco'd books home. I guess I need to get out of public libraries and find a job in a special collections.

William Smith said...

Love the term "disco'd". Must twitter it immediately.

Cullen Gallagher said...

Let me know if you ever get that Dee Snider book. Looks amazing.

Bitterly Books said...

I'm amazed at some of the stuff that even makes it through the formal printing process, let alone actually making it onto library shelves.

Some of these books are clearly just marketing cash-grabs, but it's funny to look at some of them and realize that at one point in time, society at large thought it would be a good idea to distribute this information.