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  1.  (9817.1)
    What is the strangest thing you've come across in a book?
    Concepts? Typos? Strange bindings? Notes from other people?

    The 'strangest' book I own is a guide to the highlander tv series, where many of the interior pages are in backwards. The book is readable, but it's awkward, and just kinda odd. I've also come across books with the covers on upside-down.

    As far as marginalia goes, I haven't found too much of interest, just the usual names and occasional phone numbers, and underlined text; though I dare say I've left my share of it in college books!

    Odd topics I've found in books include body thieves/resurrectionists. I also have books on curiosities/curios of ye olden times and anatomical anomalies, sexuality in colonial America, and uncensored Greek pottery...all at a very conservative bookstore. Hidden away in the basement, but they were there ;).
  2.  (9817.2)
    i've found a erotic postcard from the beginning of the XX century inside a book.

    But strange subjects...I search for literature that resembles lovecraft; =)
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    I once found a book about dragons at my local library when I was a kid. Only it wasn't meant to be fiction; the people who wrote it believed dragons were/are real. The first half of the book was on dragons, different species (there are Western, which look like traditional fantasy dragons ala Smaug, and Eastern dragons, which all look like Chinese dragons no matter where in the "east" they come from). Notes about places where bones were supposedly found, sightings, that sort of thing.

    The second half of the book was creepy. If I remember correctly, the back half of the book involved some magic spells regarding summoning various kinds of demons. One of the spells involved digging up the corpse of an infant, your usual seventh son of a seventh son bullshit, but at the age I was and considering I was pretty fundie Xtian at the time it spooked me.

    The kicker was that the last page of the book, that had the author information on it, had an address where you could write to in order to get more information about the author's their book, and their group, only there was a warning that they were being investigated by the FBI for something. Very weird.
      CommentAuthorPurple Wyrm
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011 edited
    The Cosmic Conspiracy by Stan Deyo. A seriously weird book mixing UFOs, aliens, numerology, freemasonry, US government conspiracies and biblical eschatology to predict the end of the world and the return of Jesus in 1988 (it's still in print, apparently Deyo releases a new version every few years updating Jesus' calendar).

    Stumbled over it somewhere as a kid and found it fascinating, although even as an impressionable 10 year old I thought the author was completely, batshit insane. The subject matter veers wildly from symbolism in the Great Seal of the United States (turn it backwards and superimpose it over itself and it looks like.... something), the Book of Genesis as a sci-fi epic, the physics of building a UFO and finishes up with a Jack Chick style form to fill out pledging your belief in the Lord Jesus Christ (because you'll be killed by US Government weather control machines if you don't).

    As a bonus there's a picture of the author and his wife on the back. He looks like a cross between Byers from The Lone Gunmen and Anton Levay. His wife is apparently a clone of Morticia Adams.

    I can't recall where I found a copy originally, but some years back I obtained a second hand copy signed by the author. I preserve it as a kind of holy relic of Teh Weirds.

    I also have a book about the making of David Lynch's Dune with the centre third bound in upside down and backwards. You can still read it, with effort.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    I collect occult books and usually by them from two particular shops in London, The Atlantis Bookshop and Treadwells. Some of the books I've bought have had some very interesting notations in them, or 'Ex Libris' bookplates of people who are fairly notable in the scene. Occasionally the notations refer to results of rituals or proposed minor changes, so I know they've actually been used, as it were.
  3.  (9817.6)
    I remember a book from library where someone crossed out words like god, devil, hell etc.

    As for the books that I own/owned...

    I used to have Polish editions of Malleus Maleficarum (The Witches Hammer) aand... Necronomicon.

    No, really.

    Ok, it was one of the Necronomicons that float around with bits of another one + some other texts cobbled togther and translated into Polish. But hey, Necronomicon!

    Bought them around 2000, sold them few years later after the publisher went under (which made them rare and pretty sought after, one of the few cases when I actually sold a used book with pretty high profit).
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    An occult bookshop in New York got so fed up with having to turn away people who wanted to buy the Necronomicon that the owners commissioned a publisher to cobble together bits and pieces of Sumerian myth and stuff from Crowley's material in a vaguely plausible form so that they could cash in. There've been a few different versions since, all created for a market it was missing from.
  4.  (9817.8)
    I once owned a book on Che Guevara that had a stamp inside the front cover declaring that it was from the private library of the FBI. It looked pretty official so I think it really was. How it got into a Canadian used book store is beyond me.
    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    The weirdest book I own by far is "The Psychopath's Bible: For The Extreme Individual" by Christopher S. Hyatt. I haven't got a huge knowledge of magick / occult stuff, so I'm not sure exactly how much of it is supposed to be a joke. It reads kind of like a mix between those aggressive business manuals (you know the sort of thing "The Business Model of Stalin: How To Grind Every Last Drop of Life Out of Your Workforce"), the creepier end of the "How To Date Loads of Attractive Women" spectrum of self-help books and the less esoteric bits of Crowley.

    Certain parts of it are really interesting - the idea that if one truly wants to destroy "the system", the most effective method is to work with it, magnifying its flaws and speeding its collapse - while others are distinctly creepy - the section on how to make other people feel indebted to you without making them resent you, so you can screw them over and they'll thank you. Others are, well, odd - the part about how people in long-term sexual relationships should masturbate every day to ensure that their sexual power isn't stolen from them by the other person springs to mind.

    Oh, and in terms of marginalia, my first night in university I discovered someone had signed the front page of the free Bible in my room with "All the best, God". Old joke, I know, but it made me smile.
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    A copy of LIFE IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY by Vassiliev and Gouschev with an EX LBRIS JOHN BRUNNER sticker...awesome.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    One of my history teachers, at school, put it to us that it was the Russians who beat the Germans in the 2nd world war: and that the events in the west, better known to us, e.g. Torch and D-Day, were a side-show. I wrote to the Russian embassy to ask for a copy of their official History of the Great Patriotic War, and found that was a difficult book. No coherent narrative that I remember, for example no explanation of anyone's plans or strategies, just a mass of events. It was, "On such and such a date, such and such a factory increased production of such and such." Then a quarter of a page, a paragraph or two, about some corporal on the front doing something heroic. It described the Yalta Conference as being attended by Churchill, Roosevelt, and "delegates of the Soviet Communist Party" (no mention of "Stalin").

    Conversely, another unusual book: I was impressed by The Whole Earth Catalog when I read it. A new medium, written by 1000 people. I was thinking that, it was like the internet, before the internet existed: a way for individuals to publish useful tips and for others to find them; then reading and finding others draw the same parallel.
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    I have a beautiful copy of something called "Life Understood from a Scientific & Religious Point of View and The Practical Method of Destroying Sin, Disease & Death.", bound in an elegant purple satin binding. One of my favorite finds ever, although not all that rare from what I understand.

    It has a half-sheet pasted in the front of "Errata & Additions," which is my favorite thing about it, aside from the simply beautiful binding and the utter craziness of the contents, which is some variation on Theosophy/Christian Science.
    • CommentAuthormunin218
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2011
    Not odd content, but odd circumstance:

    I worked in the library for a semester in high school. I checked out a particular book, and no matter how many times I desensitized the magnetic strip in it, it still set off the door alarm. For the entire time I spent reading it, like a book thief, I set the door alarm off every time I entered and exited the library. I was the butt of jokes for a week.

    The book?

    It was Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.
  5.  (9817.15)
    Hee hee!

    I used to work at Half Price Books --actually, the corporate headquarters in Dallas. for those not familiar, HPB is a family-owned chain of used bookstores that's pretty neat. The flagship store in dallas is also the biggest one, roughly the size of a Wal-Mart of used books and media. And yes, there has been a lot of weird shit, like:


    Money (as in, hundred dollar bills)

    Birth certificates

    homemade porno

    Because of the nature of the store, I've also managed to acquire or see a few interesting works. For example, I own
    An Encyclopaedia of Occultism
    and the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, among others.

    Things that have come through the store have been as crazy as a signed first edition of William Cooper's Behold a Pale Horse, as incredibly offensive as a first-edition Little Black Sambo, or as scary as official FBI reports and collected documents of the JFK assassination (remember, it's Dallas). Also, a first of Profiles in Courage signed by JFK and a first of Stride Toward Freedom signed by MLK Jr.

    Most of these are still available btw, for handsome sums of course.
    • CommentAuthorTalesin
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2011
    In 2nd hand book store in Auckland, 6th or 7th form college, browsing the shelves looking for a copy of "The Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie. Find one nice hardcover, flick through to check all the pages there, plastic bag falls to ground. Bend down to pick it up and surprise surprise cannabis. Look to the left, look to the right, put bag and contents back in book, book back in shelf and casually walk out the door. As I'm walking past the window outside I see another customer who was in the same area as me walk nonchalantly over to the shelf and grab the book. Probably both items went to a good home
  6.  (9817.17)
    I woulda smoked that shit. (And I don't even smoke anything anymore)
  7.  (9817.18)
    Bought an old folktale book and opened it to find this.
  8.  (9817.19)
    I spy a new Station Ident...
  9.  (9817.20)
    Feel free ;)

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