Vintage Reads #44: Weekly Reader Early 1980s Book Orders

What books would you order?  Several of these sound promising....

101 Shark Jokes - Hells to the Yes.  "Why are sharks stupid? They refuse to stay in schools."

Judy Blume books always provided inappropriate reading material - whether it be sex or feminine hygiene, Blume always delivered the goods. In this book there's Lisa "who undresses every night without pulling the shades down."

There's a Dragonslayer book with a cool-ass cover, and a Fantasy Island book with four "scary" stories.  It's a veritable cornucopia of good reads in this November 1981 issue of the Weekly Reader.  But wait, there's more...

Does anyone remember the Cosmic Christmas TV special.  God, it seems like a bad dream.  I'd love to get my filthy paws on that book.

Weekly Readers were enjoyed in classrooms around the country on Friday (in place of your normal boring reading class).  How dare they offer a Bible! In today's public schools, Weekly Reader would get sued six ways to Sunday.

And might I say - worst Frankenstein cover ever.

The Weekly Reader book order from April-May 1982... Dukes of Hazzard folder, anyone?

How to Master the Video Games sounds interesting; glad they thought to add "the" before "video games".

I was a Guinness records freak in the early eighties.  The images of the fat twins on motorbikes is a part of Gen X's collective consciousness.

Notice how they have the Dukes of Hazzard scrap book open to Catherine Bach's page.  Sex sells, my friend.  Sex sells.  Even in junior high.

Here's some covers just for the helluvit.


  1. I had the Santa's Christmas Village and the Heathcliff book. Probably got them from these flyers. I used to get so many books from them.

  2. I have a paperback Frankenstein I had to purchase for a college English lit course. Even though the cover is a fairly decent painting of the monster carrying away a beautiful blonde, the monster looks more like Milton the Monster or Frankenberry than Boris Karloff or Glen Strange.

  3. I think Judy Blume called that book "Then Again, Maybe I Won't" because Weekly Reader would never advertise a book called "The Wack-Off Boy."

  4. Hot damn, I had that Santa's Village book, too. I loved that freaking thing and still remember it to this day. Wow.

  5. I had the Dragonslayer book. It wasn't bad.

  6. My weekly reader purchases were during the 70s... but I did have the Mastering The Video Games book (maybe still do in storage...?) Had popular games of the time like like PacMan, Galaga, Moon Cresta, Zaxxon, etc. Nice drawn diagrams and such.

    Speaking of 70s... gosh.. Dynamite Magazine (sigh, always a good read) and those Monster Books (How to Care for Your Monster and Monster Holidays by Norman Bridwell) are my most vivid memories of those books.

  7. Nice find! We always got our yearly Guinness Book of World Records from the Weekly Reader. One of my favorite buys was a poster of a guy riding a motocross cycle; green and yellow color scheme. Still have it somewhere.

  8. I posted some of these from 1973-75 a while back, along with some old Weekly Readers.

    I read Then Again Maybe I Won't, and I'm sure I had that Guinness book also.

    1. RH, it's too bad all your images are gone. I found your 5 days of Weekly Reader entries - I assume there were images? Any download links as well?

    2. As soon as I can I'll re-upload them. I'll try to get to it this weekend. I can include a download link, that shouldn't be too hard. Yeah, it really sucks to have 5 years of images disappear.

  9. Cosmic Christmas is on youtube but I haven't been able to rewatch it since it creeped the crap out of me when I was a kid.

    Am I the only one that thought the Frankenstein cover looks like some frathouse hazing picture?

  10. Yeah man, A Cosmic Christmas freaked my beak.

    Had that Dragonslayer book and the Empire one. Still have the Mastering The Video Games book. I can see it on the shelf now.

  11. I'd love to see a whole post just on Judy Blume i.e. Forever etc.

  12. ****-yeah on Weekly Reader. Every (monthly?) order I'd tell Mom what I wanted and she'd give me the five dollars for 2-4 books oh, Beetle Bailey, Heathcliff, and Mom's favorite, Marmaduke.

    ****-yeah on late-70s Guinness Books. The world's fattest twins were Benny and Billy McCrary, and I also studied the picture to see if their motorcycle tires were about to go flat. Guinness USED to be a fascinating, technical and educational read - with occasional bone-dry humor - before it devolved into Gross And Crazy Stunts People in America Performed Last Year.

    ***-yeah to Dynamite and Bananas magazines. Please please somebody upload old issues

    "I think Judy Blume called that book "Then Again, Maybe I Won't" because Weekly Reader would never advertise a book called "The Wack-Off Boy." Joel didn't masturbate in the book, he had wet dreams.

  13. I actually ordered the 101 Shark Jokes from this very catalog!! Except I clearly remember it was only 100 jokes, as two were repeated (something about Barnaby Bones). Classic!!!