A gallery of dull, curious or odd book covers

Bookride, the wonderful book dealer's blog, has a fun gallery of "dull, curious or odd book covers." Here are a few:






The Joy of Dullness


        1. As a technical writer, it drives me crazy to see sentences with open punctuation. I prefer using the serial comma (AKA the Oxford comma) to avoid ambiguity.

  1. Some books are not meant to be read. some books are meant to be hollowed out, and made into secret stashes for drugs, porn or guns.

    1. Gilbert Anderson, MNCP knew that better than anybody else. “There Must be a Reason” came pre-hollowed out with a Derringer and a can of whiskey.

  2. If I was F.C.KING I might have been tempted to use mixed-case in my surname to, you know, avoid the similarity to the offensive intensifier…

  3. 1.  F.C.King books are for use.
    2.  Every reader his [or her] F.C.King book.
    3.  Every F.C.King book its reader.

  4. I’ve never understood my tortoise. 
    And he’s never made any attempt to understand me. 
    So F.C.K him!

  5. this is my favorite oddest book cover EVAR — i catalog library books, and this one certainly made my day.  sorry for the poor photo, but i only had my antique 6-year-old cellphone available.

    1. Wait… does this book have anything to do with the movies?  I’m confused mightily either way…

  6. Apparently “There Must Be a Reason” is sheet music, according to one of the commenters on the linked blog, which is even weirder…

  7. I might ditch this name in favor of F.C. King from now on. 

    Now, I have to go edit this post elsewhere because something malfunctioned.

  8. only somewhat related:

    i used to work in the file room for a state licensing board for contractors and wish i would have kept track of all of the best names

    my fav. and the only one that comes to mind is Doug’s Dirt Business

    oh yeah! you need dirt, i got a guy…

  9. Nicky G, planettom:

     the swan is there for absolutely no reason at all.  that’s why i LOVE it so.  the publisher of the books (“Books LLC”) essentially sells bound copypasta from wikipedia (in this case, about those movies) — it’s public domain, so i suppose they can do that…?  insert shrug here.

    i catalogued this around the first of the year, and before i shelved it,  i stuck a tiny purple cut-out post-it-note drawing of a chestburster on the swan.  i just pulled it from the shelf, and it’s still there!  :D

  10.  I was really hoping that F.C.King would present his own unique way of gardening with compost, but he didn’t. There was no F.C.King way.

  11. If you want to see boring covers, check out graduate physics textbooks. Some have no cover art at all. But, alas, they usually aren’t funny books.

  12. I’ve got a great paperback titled “How To Look Rich and Achieve Sexual Ecstasy” by Rhona Barrett.

  13. Not only do I bemoan the lack of Oxford comma, but also express my dismay at the “every child must have a medal” culture that says every post can have a “Like” button but there is nary a “Dislike” button to be seen anywhere on the intertubes.  Come on BB – let’s have a CHOICE of how to express our views on some of the less than wonderful things/comments.

    Oh – and imagine my disappointment at seeing a book with “The Blue Book of Grammar” on its cover, but no cussing rules at all inside.

  14. Anyone else having a hard time seeing the attached image files?  Clicking on one brings the article page back up, but no larger image.  Zooming on the thumbnails renders the titles illegible…

    (edit: Hmmm, oddly working now – popup window with image…)

  15. The book covers are great but what really made my day was learning about Oxford commas (I use them, but I never knew they had a name!)

    1. It’s been on people’s minds lately.

      Damn, I forgot; links aren’t red anymore.  In the sentence above, “on people’s minds” is a link to a Salon story from a month ago about the Oxford comma, and the fact that the Public Relations department of Oxford has decided to stop using that comma, and you can imagine the outcry.

      Any chance at all we can get our red links back?

  16. Closed:Nobody won this item.

    Closed: 9:21 am, Monday, 2 May 2011

    Ref: 7pkg4m

    Must Be a Reason (Hardcover)
    by Gilbert Anderson

    Having narrowly missed being obliterated by German bombs on more than
    one occasion during the Second World War obliged Gilbert Anderson to ask
    the question ” Why?” m and from there to thing that There Must be a
    reason for his being spared, These experiences were compounded when both
    he and his wife Ruth were cured of medically incurable conditions, by
    natural or spiritual healing —this compelled him to learn all he could
    of these remarkable powers and led his into a completely deferent walk
    of life

    The seller: aabrothers


    Member since: October 2007

    Location: North Shore City, Auckland

  17. I’m the proud owner of Flushed With Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper, by Wallace Reyburn.  Short and actually rather interesting. 
    Also have a copy of If We Can Keep a Severed Head Alive…Discorporation and U.S. Patent 4,666,425 by Chet Fleming.  Quite the tome and some of the reviews at Amazon.com are the kind that need to be shared! http://www.amazon.com/Keep-Severed-Head-Alive-Discorporation-Patent/dp/0942287029
    And I’ve got the Mothman Prophesies around here somewhere.  Bit of a letdown, that one. 

  18. As a writer of synopses of academic books for a book catalog, I was instructed to always use the Oxford comma and also am a supporter of the Oxford comma just as an individual. It avoids any misunderstandings and with merely one small symbol. Why wouldn’t one use it?

    Further, based on my experience with this job, I can tell you that the top example has far more sparkle and pizzazz than the vast majority of books from that publisher, Kluwer Law International, and I’ve seen hundreds of examples, at least, over the years.

  19. Understand Your Tortoise sounds like a euphamism.

    Johnny you’ve been in the bat long enough , what are you doing in there son?

    Uhm, just understanding my tortoise mom.  Be out in a minute….

  20. To whoever it was who beat me to the last copy of “Understanding your Tortoise”…damn you sir/madam.

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