Readings — From the January 2013 issue

The Worst of Spines

From an 1851 “list of imitation book-backs” sent by Charles Dickens to a London bookbinder, who fabricated mock books with the fake titles. The New York Public Library re-created part of Dickens’s collection for its current exhibition Charles Dickens: The Key to Character.

Five Minutes in China
Forty Winks at the Pyramids
Mr. Green’s Overland Mail
A Carpenter’s Bench of Bishops
Toot’s Universal Letter-Writer
Downeaster’s Complete Calculator
History of the Middling Ages
Jonah’s Account of the Whale
Captain Parry’s Virtues of Cold Tar
Kant’s Ancient Humbugs
Bowwowdom. A Poem.
The Quarrelly Review
The Art of Cutting the Teeth
On the Use of Mercury by the Ancient Poets
Drowsy’s Recollections of Nothing
Heavyside’s Conversations with Nobody
Commonplace Book of the Oldest Inhabitant
Growler’s Gruffiology, with Appendix
The Books of Moses and Sons
Teazer’s Commentaries
Miss Biffin on Deportment
Morrison’s Pills Progress
Lady Godiva on the Horse
Munchausen’s Modern Miracles
Richardson’s Show of Dramatic Literature
Hansard’s Guide to Refreshing Sleep

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