Pssst, want some weird books?

I always enjoy when the used-book website Abe Books periodically posts a display of weird books. These include the truly weird, the extremely specialized and some that I don’t find weird at all. The page at the link, for instance, includes the book Tulipomania about the financial speculation in tulips in the 1600s. It was the first known financial bubble and more worthy of study than listing as a Weird Book makes it sound. Others, however? Well, take a look, first at some specialized topics:

Daghestan medicine symbols may, like tulipomania, be a subject worth of study, of course. Some of the others below, however …

Like Tulipomania, this seems a worthy reference book if you’re interested in snails.Not that there’s anything objectionable in books catering to a niche market, but even so …. English smocks?

Next, some that strike me as really odd.

I believe this one is a humor book.

There’s lots more at the link.

#SFWApro. All rights to cover images (I don’t know the artists) remain with current holder).


Filed under cover art

2 responses to “Pssst, want some weird books?

  1. Zosimus the Heathen

    I’ve long had a fondness for weird books myself, and have collected quite a few over the years (though, like some of the titles on the Abe Books page you linked to, some of the “weird” books in my own collection might not be so much strange as simply extremely specialized). Anyway, my own “weird” books include such gems as:
    Dictators’ Homes (which also appears on the Abe Books page, albeit under a slightly different title)
    Iran at War
    The War on Women in Israel
    Shooting Up (a book about the history of drug use in warfare)
    Irregular Army (a book about how the US Army is apparently letting far too many undesirable types (eg neo-Nazis and gangbangers) join up nowadays)
    Blitzed (a book about drug use in Nazi Germany – actually, I think this one became something of a surprise bestseller)
    Head Over Heels (a book about women who choose to stay with cross-dressers and MTF transsexuals)
    Surviving in Prison
    Plutonium: A History of the World’s Most Dangerous Element (this one gets bonus points for also having quite a bit about the discovery of rhenium, apparently the last of the stable elements to be discovered and isolated)

    My local library also stocks some books on delightfully strange and obscure topics. Among the more unusual titles I’ve borrowed from there over the last few years have been “Why the Germans Lose at War”, “Napalm” (a history of the aforementioned substance); “The Arabs and the Holocaust” (a book about Arab attitudes to the Nazis before, during and after World War 2); “Yemen Divided” (a book about arguably the most obscure of all the Marxist dictatorships of the 20th Century: the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen); and “Mad, Bad and Dangerous: The Eccentricities of Tyrants”.

    • That’s an interesting list. I read The War On Women in Israel a couple of years back. Interesting (I was familiar with the issues it covers, but not at such a level of detail).
      TYG and I have acquired some weird books over the years. As a lot of them are history I can always tell myself “I might use them for research some day!” And sometimes I do.

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