My Surprise Collector’s Item – It’s Terrifying!

Whilst preparing an exciting upcoming post (oooh wouldn’t you like to know?), I stumbled across a favorite book on Amazon:

The Pop-up Book of Phobias

It's what bacon is to breakfast, what Neil Patrick Harris is to TV, and what you need in your library.

I own this book. I love this book. My first job was at an independent book store, and when I got wind of this bad boy in 1999, I had to have it. I may have even paid full price: $24.95.


New copies on Amazon start at $143.36. Hot diggity! While this surprised me, it’s probably only because I never thought about it. Of course this book is costly, if it’s in short supply. Sometimes the world makes sense.

It’s the best coffee table book ever made. Just look:

Get that drill out of my face, you g.d. sadist! Dentophobia.


I saw Buried. No thank you. Not even with you, Ryan Reynolds. Necrophobia.

I'm not really afraid of heights, but even my knees are wobbling with this one. Acrophobia.

Er, um, the three agencies of government I would like to eliminate are, ahhhh, um...STOP STARING AT ME LIKE THAT!!! Glossophobia.

Ah, everyone's favorite fear. Claustrophobia.

If you’re not busy calling your therapist right now, you can see even more heart-stopping pop-ups by getting this book used for a good price! Don’t make me say “I told you so” in another 13 years.

Do you have any irrational fears? (Reactions to my last post suggest a strong aversion to sloths.)

Here's mine. Creepy crawlies. Eeeeesh.

 Photo credit disclaimer: While I took these photos, I do not own the content of this book, which was created and written by Gary Greenberg, illustrated by Balvis Rubess, pop-ups by Matthew Reinhart, published by Rob Weisback Books, and produced by Melcher Media, Inc.

70 responses to “My Surprise Collector’s Item – It’s Terrifying!

  1. What a riot!

    • Right?! This book is a dream (er, nightmare?) come true.

      Thanks SO much for coming by, Jaen, and for the subscribe! That makes my day and I hope you’ll like it here. It’s not all terrifying. I talk about chipmunks a lot. 😉

  2. That is one amazing book. -kate

  3. Great book! I’m happy I don’t own it. That last picture just about killed me. Deathly afraid of spiders, so thanks, Jules.

    • Me too, Darla! We must be strong and face our fears…at least in paper form? Actually, a GIANT-a*s spider just surprised me the other day by crawling out from the towel I was standing on (by our back door – to wipe the dog’s paws)…GAHHH! As you can see, it’s still troubling me. They grow ’em big out here in the sticks.

  4. Running from Hell with El

    Thanks for the morning giggle! My worst irrational fear is of calling people on the phone. Sigh. I used to be in sales and have to cold call folks (GAH!).

    • Why, my pleasure, ‘o course! 🙂

      OMG. ME TOO. I absolutely hate talking on the phone. I don’t have the cold call experience to justify it, though. I bet you still have nightmares.

      • Running from Hell with El

        LOL. I do! Cold-calling nightmares rank right up there with test-taking-angst dreams! Gah!!!

  5. My worst fear is writing and illustrating a truly amazing pop up book and having some blogger plagiarize it.

    Those are some great pictures, by the way. I don’t even have any of those phobias and I got scared!

    • LOL! I bet you could come up with a pop-up book idea to rival this one. Your blog illustrations make me sure of that!

      There is a pop-up of a clown in the book that I think would keep you up at night. I decided to show some mercy here.

  6. That last photo is priceless, but also makes the 13-year-old boy in me suppress chuckles. For 13-year-old boy reasons. Hee.

  7. I love that ear-choppingly good tag!

    • Thanks! I wish I could use it more often. I guess if I stopped talking about chipmunks and Darren Criss… (although that could take a macabre turn, I suppose…).

  8. I remember this book! DAMN, why didn’t I buy a copy? Or a thousand copies?

  9. i want one now! 140 bucks?! the buried one was pretty neat.

  10. I have sooooo seen that book before at Borders back when it existed. I’m also wondering why I didn’t buy it when I had the chance!

    • Instructions to purchase in comment above, LOL! (Amazon has used copies on the cheap-ish.) It is definitely a buy I never regretted. I bust it out every couple of years. In fact, I think I need to put it on my new (new to me) living room coffee table!!

  11. Okay, I want this book. And I’m afraid of Ventriloquists’ Dummies, among other things.

  12. Funny, funny. Thanks for sharing. You always make me laugh.

  13. I love it! I want it! I don’t think I have any irrational fears. My biggest fear is losing loved ones, but I think everyone has that fear to some degree.

  14. PS- There was a new Gypsy Wedding on last night. Did you catch it? 🙂

    • The Sprinkes Library definitely needs this addition! And you’re absolutely right about that fear. As a kid I used to have panic attacks about it!

      Ooooh yes we’ve got it on the DVR! We still need to watch it. How was it??

      • Oh, it definitly met my expectations! You’ll enjoy it and possibly get some new fashion tips from it. I’ve also just started reading the book Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh. So far, it gives wonderful insight into the lives of Romany Gypsies. I find Gypsy culture so interesting. Hope you’re having a fab day!

  15. Simply awesome. Must have this now…what’s the fear of not owning this book called?!

  16. I know it was a quick, glib reply but it made me laugh so your response to “What question becomes most disturbing when you add a wink?” is one of the finalists! You should definitely begin the shameless solicitation of votes for yourself.

  17. Hmmmm. My biggest phobia is head lice. I wrote about it once, and it remains the post that still gets the most hits. Every day, at least 50. It’s crazy.

    Okay. I’m itching now — so thanks for that. 😉

    • My head felt itchy on the drive to work today and it made me think of this comment! That is definitely phobia-worthy. And apparently we’re not alone in thinking so!

  18. I collect books and I don’t have this one. It looks great, I’ll be on the look out for it, although not for $150 !

    • I hope there’s cheaper ways to get new copies, then! Because it is seriously awesome. I almost feel like I should apologize for making people want it now, LOL 🙂

  19. OMG I love this book! I fear the dreaded stomach virus. not sure if it is worse when I have it or when my kids have it. At least when I have it, I don’t have to clean the carpet.

  20. I, too, was surprised at the reactions to sloths. Most things that are furry are likeable…except furry spiders. Ewww….

  21. Cool book! I like what Steven Wright said he had an irrational fear of… widths!

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