Apropos of seemingly nothing, I received an email yesterday heralding the best selling federal government books of 2015. "Find out which Federal titles were ranked among the best for 2015, according to customer purchases over the past year," it stated. Be still my heart!
The top-selling book of the year seems not to be a book at all, but a fit-for-framing "Gold Retirement Federal Career Service Award Certificate," printed on "high quality, off-white heavy paper stock … embossed with a metallic version of the Great Seal of the United." OK. Same thing for the third best seller, an "international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis as approved by the World Health Organization."
The second top-selling book provides room for a bit of optimism: a pocket-edition of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. A larger edition of the Constitution also shows up in the number five spot.
The rest—and the reason I'm sharing—offer an amusing look at bureaucracy and the regulatory state in action. A few titles:
- The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right, September 2011 Revision
- Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute: Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, as Amended, and 5 U.S.C. 5596, The Back Pay Act, as Amended (2012)
- Government Auditing Standards: 2011 Revision (Yellow Book)
- Quick Bio-Agents: USAMRIID\'s Pocket Reference Guide to Biological Select Agents & Toxins
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
- Health Insurance Claims Forms (CMS-1500) Single Sheets (Revised 2012)
Alas, 2012, 2013, and 2014 top-sellers such as Ponzimonium: How Scam Artists Are Ripping Off America, Astronomical Almanac for the Year 2013 and Its Companion the Astronomical Almanac Online, Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?, National Interoperability Field Operations Guide Version 1.5, and the United States Senate Telephone Directory 2013 have all been bumped.