23 Feb 2013

Pencil sharpening among oddest book titles

7:34 pm on 23 February 2013

A guide to sharpening pencils and a craft manual about how tea cosies changed the world are among a shortlist of books competing for the Oddest Book Title of the Year award.

The 35th annual Diagram Prize is run by the industry publication The Bookseller.

Coordinator Philip Stone says the award might seem flippant but publishers and booksellers are well aware of the fact that a title can make all the difference to book sales.

The Diagram Prize was founded in 1978 and first awarded to a publication called "Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice".

This year How to Sharpen Pencils is up against titles such as God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis, Was Hitler Ill? and Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop.

Last year's winner was Cooking with Poo, a Thai cookbook by Bangkok resident Saiyuud Diwong, whose nickname is Poo.