So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Scouts in Bondage is a photographic collection of book covers of titles that have not withstood the test of time. Compiled by a retired British secondhand book seller, this is an amusement for the bibliophile with a taste for the double entendre. This is a very short book with minimal text. Highlighted are about 45 photos of book covers whose intent was serious at the time but, over time, have developed unintended secondary meanings. Facing these covers is the bibliographic details (Author, title, publisher, date, and size) and occasional excerpts or additional information to add to the amusement.

Being an engineering librarian, I
was especially drawn to the technical titles gone wrong such as:

The Resistance of Piles to Penetration


Hardening and Tempering Engineers' Tools

as well as the illustration of the goddess Hygieia holding a water closet pull chain on the cover of The Modern Plumber and Sanitary Engineer.