Novelty books rock

Today a boy at the library asked me for the book "Five Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth and Other Useful guides". I immediately made a mental note to put a hold on this item myself -- I mean, who wouldn't be at least slightly intrigued by the title? To my disappointment our library did not own the item, but fortunately it was available through interlibrary loan.
It seems like there are plenty of these kind of books around these days -- humorous, satirical non-fiction -- or perhaps a better term might be "novelty books", as the aim of these books is often just to amuse the reader, rather than offer any kind of in depth information or story. They range from blog books (e.g. I Can Has Cheezeburger? A LOLcat Collekshun - cat photos with funny captions) to parodies (e.g. 101 Places Not to See Before you Die) to slang dictionaries (e.g. Mo Urban Dictionary). My favourites feature everyday blunders, such as F in Exams (funny exam answers people actually wrote) Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong and Passive Aggressive Notes: painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings. These are the kind of books that your strict English teacher would never let into her classroom -- much less even consider as a book. They're the kind of material that librarians have purchase for the library in secret, in case someone tells them that library funds should be used more "wisely". They are also the kinds of books that draw the interest of just about anyone because of their bizarre topics and edgy (often deviant) perspectives. Some we might read with disgust or morbid fascination, but I find it's almost impossible for me to resist at lest flipping through such books. I say we stop worrying so much about literary merit and let those boys find out what the five good reasons are to punch a dolphin.
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