The Joy of Dullness
July 25, 2011 6:21 PM   Subscribe

The Joy of Dullness 1 | The Joy of Dullness 2: a gallery of dull, curious or odd book covers on informative and explore-worthy Bookride. posted by nickyskye (18 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I have a hollowed-out copy of The Protestant Establishment - Aristocracy & Caste in America by E. Digby Baltzell that I looted from a dead friend's house on my coffee table. Now that is dull. (I want to read most of the books featured in this post, though.)
posted by Gator at 6:30 PM on July 25, 2011

Tons of interesting books have dull covers:

The Art of Computer Programming
The Canon of the New Testament
Critique of Pure Reason

Once you get past the terminus of commercial viability, "interesting cover" becomes unimportant.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:47 PM on July 25, 2011

I like the cover of Henry Miller's The Books In My Life because it can be read from 20 feet away.
posted by Trurl at 7:01 PM on July 25, 2011

From Joy in Dullness 2, "Something New in Sandwiches" is kind of an awesome cover.
posted by xingcat at 7:09 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would like to change my name to F.C. KING, thanks. I'll even write books about compost to accomplish this.
posted by heurtebise at 7:16 PM on July 25, 2011

Gardening with Compost might be dull but having the author's name, F. C. KING, in larger type than the title more than makes up for it.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:18 PM on July 25, 2011

I want the Extant Horse Furniture book! And I find this is a compelling cover.
posted by longsleeves at 7:22 PM on July 25, 2011

Funny story related to this topic:

Boring books are a fascination of mine. I see stuff like "Management Practices for VCR repair Technicians" at a used book store and I have a hard time not spending fifty cents on it. Anyway, when I worked at a public library we'd get donations in, usually people cleaning out book shelves of the dead or dying, keeping the good stuff, and giving us the mildewy paperbacks and other dross. One day I walk by the recycling bin after the person in charge of donations had just gotten done with the latest load. On top is something along the lines of "Supermath: a New System for Geometry". Intrigued by its utter dullness, I pick it up and start leafing through it. It was not Supermath.

It was a camouflaged copy of The Sensuous Woman.

I guess that the camouflage had worked so well that when the relation of the deceased (or maybe the owner herself) had been cleaning they just glazed right over the book and tossed it into the donation bag.

We all had a good laugh about that.
posted by codacorolla at 7:27 PM on July 25, 2011 [9 favorites]

How is How Concrete Can Help the Dairy Farmer so damn funny?
posted by swift at 8:03 PM on July 25, 2011


"Taking Life Imprisonment Seriously"???
"Why She Should Start Wearing a Bra"???
"Nutcases: European Union Law"???

Many of these sound more like contenders for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:07 PM on July 25, 2011

I'd quite like to read Hanging in Judgment: Religion and the Death penalty in England. And Nutcases: European Union Law is a textbook that has abbreviated accounts of legal cases "in a nutshell". It's probably not especially boring if you're interested in law.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:16 PM on July 25, 2011

I like "UNDERSTAND YOUR TORTOISE" cause it sounds like a command.
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 PM on July 25, 2011 [4 favorites]

First entry is about consumption and depression. Third entry is about girls and bras. Nope, not dull at all.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:21 PM on July 25, 2011

Hackett PRess editions are really well designed covers, elegant in their reduction. I have a rep for reading boring books.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:15 PM on July 25, 2011

This post inspires me to think about starting a collection in dull books. Right up my alley.
posted by Apropos of Something at 11:57 PM on July 25, 2011

I own a copy of Hanging in Judgment. It is most definitely not a dull book (though Charles Duff's Handbook on Hanging is perhaps more suited for the casual reader who desires an introduction to the topic).

Also, I would assuredly read The History and Social Influence of the Potato and Extant Horse Furniture n North America and London.
posted by Chrischris at 6:49 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just did a quick Amazon search on The Treatment of Final Vowels in Early Neo-Babylonian and I'm impressed to report that at least 3 people have purchased this book at some point in time.
posted by CheesesOfNazareth at 8:03 AM on July 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Boring Books, The Movie.
posted by Toekneesan at 12:16 PM on July 26, 2011

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