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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sexercises: 10 Wonderfully Weird (and Upsetting) Discoveries at a Library Book Sale

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State basements, thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.

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"Modern living creates sexual cripples," Edward O'Reilly writes in Sexercises, an honest-to-God 1968 paperback I scored at this weekend's Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Book Sale, an event of the highest order of biblio-gluttony.

There, volunteers laid out books enough that the Fort Mason Center's Festival Pavilion briefly hosted more knowledge than could have resided in the great Library of Alexandria or your mobile device, whichever holds more.

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And, by Sunday, each piece of it was 50 cents.

Of course, the host of that knowledge concerned Dan Brown's lunkheaded conspiracies or The Cat Who Solved Gentle, Bloodless Murders.

But those who dug quite likely found gold! Or at least amusing crap like Sexercises, which is certainly the first book written by "a specialist in anatomy, physiology, and physical education" that includes the phrase "The Vitally Important Pelvic Thrust" as caption to a photo of a man making his body go all noodly-armed in the spirit of not being a sexual cripple.

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Before we get to my nine other bizarre finds, here's a word of praise for the library's volunteers: One of them had the good sense to shelve Dianetics where it belongs:


In science fiction! And perhaps this next misfiling represents some incensed Scientologist's retaliation:


The horrors of psychology!

Speaking of horror, here's weird find No. 2. How do you think this poor kid turned out?


You're right! That kid did grow up to be Tom Petty!

3. Here's a true no-joke horror of the first order: what a 1933 American history textbook I found says about life in old Dixie:

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That's from the often-loathsome American History by Gertrude and John Van Duyn Southworth.

4. Here's a more wholesome find:


A highlight from its glossary:

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5. Perhaps it was just that channeling of sexual energies into other outlets that gave us this:


NEXT: Jungle love! And how to say "Are you cruising me?" in eight languages!

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Alan Scherstuhl


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