By now, you’ve probably heard of the front-yard book-sharing phenomenon known as Little Free Libraries. While the “take a book, leave a book” idea is wonderful for literacy and community, strange and unbelievable tomes (in the sense that it's a little mind-boggling that they were ever published) end up in these micro-libraries.
In the interest of unearthing these rare titles, we went around to LFLs across the Twin Cities and photographed the most spectacularly peculiar books we could find. Only one of the publications on this list has more than a couple hard copies available in the Hennepin County Library system. Most have none.
(Side note: We’re excluding books and pamphlets promoting any religion in this list. Most of them are certainly strange in design, content, and vibe, but let’s keep the home-printed guides about how not to burn in hell out of LFLs, okay?)
Here are the 10 most bizarre books we found in Little Free Libraries:
Some might think a story combining Dracula and Jesus' birthday is a bit excessive. But A Vampire for Christmas goes above and beyond. What you’re looking at is no less than four stories by four different authors about vampires at Christmas. Oh, and they’re also “sexy” stories, of course.
Neighborhood: East Bloomington
In case you hadn’t noticed, the bottom quote reads: “If you’re planning to be alive in the year 2000, you’ve got to read this book.” It came out in 1991. Way to bum out the elderly, Ms. Popcorn.
On its own, this book looks normal enough. Found in a Little Free Library in front of an elementary school? Someone in the neighborhood is a passive aggressive world champion.
As opposed to the book about plants that bloom indoors written by a couple of liars.
Now here is a gem. This Nickelodeon television show doesn’t have the nostalgia power of Disney Channel counterparts like Even Stevens or Lizzie McGuire, and isn’t recent enough for today’s youth to have any interest. Thus, Jamie Lynn Spears will most likely sit quietly in this LFL forever.
Neighborhood: St. Anthony West
It turns out Worlds of Power is a book series based on Nintendo games. But, as the inside cover states in bold: “not authorized, sponsored, or endorsed by Nintendo of America Inc.” Bonus: The last page includes an entry form for a “Nintendo Game Boy Compact Video Game System” giveaway. You might as well send it in and see what happens.
Red Scare propaganda for only a quarter!
The Minnesota Historical Society reprinted Carley’s historical text in 2006 with a new cover and images from their extensive collections. It seems this original version with the Rodeo Clown font and Photoshop hack job didn’t stand the test of time.
Creekside Library never wants to see Savage Enchantment again.
Of course this exists. Look for the reprint at your local Urban Outfitters.
Have you found something even more weird? Tell us in the comments so everyone can put it on their book club list.