Anteaters, Potatoes, and So Much More

Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash

This month marks my fourteenth anniversary of library work. In that time, I’ve shelved, shifted, repaired, cataloged, purchased, and weeded a lot of books between my public and school library jobs. People (including myself at times) can think of books as precious treasures to be valued forever, but not all books deserve that type of adoration.

One of my favorite websites is the delightful Awful Library Books. (Their tagline is “Hoarding is not collection development.” Amen!) I’ve enjoyed this site and the book covers they feature for a long time, and I realized recently I have my own collection of awful library books to share with the world.

Over the years, I’ve taken snapshots or have written down titles of books that have, for whatever reason, made me laugh. Today I’m sharing some of my “favorites” with you. These are books I’ve actually seen in person, either in a public or school library. I’m not commenting on the quality of these books, just pointing out that the title and/or cover cracks me up. I think you’ll see why.

Amish Vampires in space book cover
Amish Vampires in Space

I remember seeing this book during Jimmy Fallon’s Do Not Read segment a few years back. Imagine my delight when it showed up at the public library. I’ve shown it to multiple coworkers and live in constant fear of it getting weeded. It makes me happy every time I see it on the shelf.

The Anteater of Death book cover
The Anteater of Death

I have several questions:

  • Are anteaters violent?
  • Why did this anteater presumably murder someone?
  • Why did Betty Webb choose to write a book about anteaters?
Chicken Soup for the Soul brothers and sisters edition
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Brothers and Sisters

I feel sad that my brother and I have never taken a similar photo.

Crafting with Cat Hair

I like cats. I like the occasional craft. What I definitely don’t like are crafts made from cat hair.

Family Emergencies

On one hand, they definitely should have gone with another cover. But on the other hand, I love this one so much.

Innocent Wife, Baby of Shame

I saw this romance novel on the shelf many years ago, but have never forgotten it. Why is the wife so innocent? Who’s going to help the poor shame-filled baby? Is there hope for mother and baby to have a flourishing relationship someday? Fingers crossed.

Modem Menace

Computer issues are indeed a bummer, man.

Potatoes

Surely any other photo of a potato–and I mean any–would have been better than this one. Whoever signed off on this cover was having a rough day and just wanted to get out of the office ASAP.

Prancerise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence

Joanna Rohrback, you’re a legend. You’re living your best life and I’m here for it, though I don’t totally understand why there are two of you and a horse on this book cover. (To see prancercise in action, click here.)

Make Quilts, Not War

Who knew world peace was sew simple? (I’m sorry.)

Shake Your Head, Darling

This book was on the shelf in a high school library. In 2012. It had to go, but not before I savored this cover. (The man sort of looks like Stephen Colbert, right?)


What are the books that have made you laugh, roll your eyes, cringe, or all three? I’d love to know about your awful library books!

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