A Bookstore Owner Discovers Delightfully Grumpy Reviews Inside Donated Books

Move aside, Goodreads trolls. You’ve met your match.

Wordier Than Thou is an event series-turned-bookstore in Pinellas Park, Florida, near Tampa. One day, they posted on their Facebook page pictures of some “wonderfully grumpy reviews” the previous owner had written on the title pages of books during the 1990s and early 2000s. These books were found in 15 bins donated to the store.

unsorted book donations

At my request, the owner of the store sent me those pictures along with some new ones. She said the donor is “clearing out a house that he’s selling. The owner of these books is deceased, a West Point grad and retired army colonel. A lot of the books are cookbooks and a bunch are on math, science and atheism, with some miscellaneous stuff thrown in there. He initialed and dated each book. He also copy edited a few of them too.”

“I think this author is rather a clod”

“I think this author is rather a clod”

Don’t hold back; tell us what you really think. He might disagree with the title of the book, then? (The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever)

“This guy is obsessed with the non-existing God (gods). Take your god + shove him. - I don't like the book's organization/format at all. In fact, it is maddening. - The worst math book I've ever looked at.”

“This guy is obsessed with the non-existing God (gods). Take your god + shove him. – I don’t like the book’s organization/format at all. In fact, it is maddening. – The worst math book I’ve ever looked at.”

This is from a book called A Passion for Mathematics and I don’t know about y’all, but I really want to read it now. Though, I feel like his reading really lived up to the subtitle: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality

“Sauces made w/ cream + butter, except as rarities, SUCK.”

“Sauces made w/ cream + butter, except as rarities, SUCK.

We’re going to have to agree to disagree, sir. (Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making)

"A stupidly organized book. It also very poorly answers the question of its title."

“A stupidly organized book. It also very poorly answers the question of its title.”

Can I Freeze It? I guess we’ll never know.

"One can hope that science will eventually undermine all religious faith. This approaches being a useless pile of shit."

“One can hope that science will eventually undermine all religious faith. This approaches being a useless pile of shit.”

Only approaches, though. I’m beginning to think this guy isn’t a huge fan of religion. If only we knew what was on pages 107, 113, 172, and 215. (Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science)

“187pp., he tries so hard + still says NOTHING.”

This is in On the Nature of Things Erotic and our reviewer tries to give the author some credit, but also says this about the book:

“Slightly humourous, but essentially POOR. Use of words is 1) pompous, remote 2) terrible”

Some of the books, the reviewer objected to the titles so much that he changed them.

He crossed out “great” and wrote “passable.”

He crossed out “great” and wrote “passable.”

Great Recipes for Good Health

(Ethnic Cuisine) Tastes of the World: (How to) Create (the) Authentic Flavors of 30 International Cuisines

I don’t… a disease? Though I’m not terribly surprised he likes his titles without unnecessary phrases and words. (Ethnic Cuisine)

If you’re starting to wonder if the reviewer ever liked any book without reservation, there’s one.

“I like this. It is well-crafted. -- If this ever gets to be a film, and it would make a good one, it's a pity Bette Davis is not young and alive to play Kathryn.”

“I like this. It is well-crafted. — If this ever gets to be a film, and it would make a good one, it’s a pity Bette Davis is not young and alive to play Kathryn.”

What is the book that won his praise? The Snow Garden by Christopher Rice.

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