I’m fascinated by this book, The Top 10 Games You Can Play in Your Head, By Yourself: Second Edition. Yes, this is a real book that you can actually purchase.

The original was 14 volumes published in the late 1980s and early 1990s by an author writing under the name J. Theophrastus Bartholomew. I don’t know how widely it was distributed originally, but at some point it went out of print. It was discovered at a yard sale in 2014 in Minnesota by Sam Gorski and D.F. Lovett. They were able to contact the original publisher to get a list of Bartholomew’s ten favorite games and the rights to an unpublished volume.

As far as I can tell, we don’t know the identity of the original author. But after reading this1, I’m salivating for more content from him. I heard that another book may be coming out. We’ll see.

The games themselves aren’t really games like you would imagine. They are more like creative prompts for you to imagine your own story. It’s an intriguing concept. I’ve struggled with it in the few attempts that I tried it (I’ve only tried Space), but I’m planning to try again because the concept is so fascinating to me.

If you know anyone who likes role-playing games, storytelling games, or who are just particularly imaginative, you might consider recommending this book to them.

  1. Because I have SMA, I am unable to handle a physical book. Unfortunately, the publishers decided not to offer an e-book version. There is an audiobook version available, however, so that’s what I used.