My problem with most ‘humour’ books is probably more to do with my inability to get rid of books after I have read them than any problem with the books themselves. These titles are great on a first read but don’t really, like most jokes, bear constant repeating. But then they end up stuck on the shelf because I can’t make myself get rid of them. Definately a #firstworldproblem… I do have a couple of exceptions to this rule though (which, technically, makes it more of a ‘guideline’ I feel): Dilbert books (which take it in turns in our bathroom…) and the QI Facts series.
In both cases they are more than just funny. Dilbert is, I am assured, actually a documentary series about life as an IT professional, and the QI Facts are just plain fascinating. You have occasional bits cropping up which you remember from the tv programme, a few items which you (rather smugly) knew already and then loads of things which have you torn between laughing and reaching for the internet. And that, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is the greatest glory of this series of books. They have a website (for this book it is qi.com/1234) where they will, for want of a better term, show you their workings. Brilliant! And, even better, if you have any major corrections or quibbles you can get in touch and let them know. And that, in the end, is the best part for me about both tv show and books is that they treat you as if you are an intelligent person with views worth hearing.
Many people buy humour titles as gifts at Christmas – the section expands in November more than my belly after Christmas dinner – and it is a great section for finding niche gifts. But if you are looking for a gift for a thinking type of person I’d always recommend a QI book. Because what could be more seasonal than a book written and researched by elves? Nope, I couldn’t think of anything either…