Empty book

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Empty books or blank books are novelty books whose title indicates that they treat some serious subject, but whose pages have been left intentionally blank. A number of such titles have been published as attempts at satire or polemic, to some commercial success.

The joke is that "nothing" is the answer to whatever the title of the book asserts. In 2017, The Guardian commented that the trend of publishing political empty books had led to "the noble art of political parody [descending] into a one-joke turn that avoids words".[1]

List of empty books[edit]

This list includes, in order of publication, empty books that have been published with an ISBN and have received coverage in reliable sources unrelated to the author. The books may have book design features such as front matter, a table of contents, page numbers, etc., as long as the pages are otherwise blank.

  • Political Achievements of the Earl of Dalkeith (1880). A political pamphlet attacking William Montagu Douglas Scott, 6th Duke of Buccleuch.
  • Simove, Sheridan (2011). What Every Man Thinks About Apart from Sex. Summersdale. ISBN 978-1849531986. Popular among British university students who used it as a notebook.[2]
  • Moncrief, Jimmy (2011). Everything Obama Knows About The Economy. Self-published. ISBN 0980074231.[3]
  • Simove, Shed (1 August 2012). Fifty Shades of Gray. Self-published. ISBN 978-0956827845. 200 blank pages in various shades of the color gray. Removed from circulation after legal action by the publisher of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey.[4]
  • Johns, Sassy (2014). Why Dogs are Better than Cats. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1497370116. 100 pages.
  • The Wit and Wisdom of Nigel Farage. Ebury Press. 1 June 2014. ISBN 978-0091960094. Angered UKIP supporters who bought it in the belief that it contained actual pronouncements by Nigel Farage.[5]
  • Alystiam, Ann (25 November 2016). Surprising Reasons to Believe Trump Will Be a Great President!. Self-published. ISBN 978-0991068944. Authored by former Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes, under a pseudonym.[6]
  • King, David (30 November 2016). Why Trump Deserves Trust, Respect and Admiration. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1540743220.[7]
  • Knowles, Michael J. (8 February 2017). Reasons To Vote For Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1543024975. A bestseller on Amazon.com and promoted on Twitter by Donald Trump.[1]
  • Voll, Assaf (12 June 2017). A History of the Palestinian People. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1546831242. A "bestseller on Amazon.com" (where it was the 543rd most sold book), until it was removed[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kean, Danuta (18 April 2017). "Empty satire: the regrettable rise of blank-paged books in the Trump era". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  2. ^ "What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex: book of blank pages become surprise bestseller". Daily Telegraph. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  3. ^ Pappas, Alex (December 20, 2011). "This Guy Published A Book Of 200 Blank Pages: 'Everything Obama Knows About The Economy'". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Meet the Man Who Sold Hundreds of Thousands of Books With Blank Pages in Them". Observer. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  5. ^ Wheaton, Oliver (12 January 2015). "Ukip supporters want this satirical book about Nigel Farage banned". Metro. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  6. ^ Hanrahan, Kieran (16 December 2016). "Cylvia Hayes' New Book On Trump Is A Page-Turner". OPB News. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  7. ^ Greene, Leonard (1 February 2017). "New book on reasons to trust Trump made of blank pages". NY Daily News. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Empty Book on Palestinian History Becomes Instant Best-seller on Amazon". Haaretz. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2018.