Candidate for top useless Google book: Joseph Furttenbach’s Meschanische Reissladen (Augsburg, 1644) about the use, storage, and care of drafting instruments, all of the illustrations of which are on folding plates that remain folded. Below you can just look at what you’re missing! (Yes there are some books you read primarily for the pictures.)
“Practicingfire brandstandsduring thecolonialperiodin Mexico, primarily. Evidence indicatesthat its usebeganin the second halfof the sixteenth centuryandlasted untilthe first decadesof the nineteenth century. Thispracticewas welcomedinmonasticlibrariesandreligious institutionsdependentonthe clergy.Isolationis no record ofsomeprivatelibrariesthat holdtheir ownbrand.”
“The book begins with seventy-two questions, some of a general philosophical or political nature and others more relevant to daily life. Choosing a question, the reader is directed to one of the twelve nude women who symbolize Fortune, each one catching a different wind in her drapery, sails, or hair as she glides over uncertain seas. From there the reader is directed to these stylized representations of Renaissance palaces, bearing the names of twelve of Italy’s foremost noble families, and to one of the letters that appears beneath them. The letter indicated instructs the reader to turn to one of the wheels of fortune depicted in subsequent pages.”
Edward Gorey illustrated this hilarious and sarcastic cookbook, Son of the Martini from 1967 written by Jane Trahey and Daren Pierce. The recipes which are printed according to level of difficulty: “After three martinis”, “After four martinis”, etc.
Not ashamed to admit that work ceased for 15 minutes when we found this one.