So after procrastinating for many years, my parents have finally begun the task of sorting and cleaning their basement. That's the same basement where I've been stockpiling the books I find for these articles. It's convinced me to make a new chapter in What Powell's Throws Out today, and use up and discard as many as possible, or....

....or I'm going to have a lot of awkward questions to answer. Let's get started!

Even without the post-its attached, sometimes the reason for rejection is very obvious. You don't need a book anymore to buy a home cheap, nor do you want to risk your relationship with your significant other by carrying around a book called "Think Like Tiger."

These were also thrown out for obvious reasons: they're galleries of web page design dated from the late 90's. They're not complete rubbish, they serve as historical documents. To me, they were worth keeping as nostalgic picture books. You can't find this kind of web anymore.

This one's my favorite. It comes from the same time period and serves as a warning on how scary the Wild Web is. The author devotes several chapters to all the shocking porn sites, autopsy photo galleries and KKK chatrooms he's been to -- and then mentions exactly where they all are. With pictures. My favorite part is where he complains about a page that gives instructions on how to arm and send a letter bomb...and then prints the entire recipe.

I blurred some of it because I'm not so stupid. If you really need to build a bomb, the instructions aren't hard to Google. So I've heard.

Tech-based books date themselves pretty fast -- shockingly fast. It wasn't very long ago that a book for designing iPod programs would have been useful. It was like...ten minutes ago.


It's been said many, many times, and it's true: you can't judge a book by its cover. Yet everybody who says it does it anyway, especially with actual books. Any one of these bins contains well over a thousand titles and I have a limited time to sift through them all before they're re-pulped for good. Over time I've developed a discerning eye for what a good cover looks like.

This is a good cover. It grabs your attention, tells you everything you need to know about the book in one glance, and provides JUST enough info to tantalize you. MAGGIE NEEDS AN ALIBI! But you'll never know why, or if she finds one, unless you read! Great title, great design. The innards didn't wow me quite as much....I'm a dude and it's more for women. It's about an author who miraculously meets the character she writes about in real life, and if you think that's ripping off Remington Steele, so do I. Except the name of her fantasy man is even more ridiculous than Remington's: "Alexandre Blake Viscount Saint Just."

Here's an example of a bad cover. Oh, it wants to be cool, so desperately, taking a drag from its cigarette between two fingers of its Power Gloved hand, wearing its suuuun-glasses at night....but being seen with it isn't going to get you a date, no sir. It's not easy being cheesy.