The art of the paperback

“They can be stuffed in purses, left in buses, dropped in toilets, used as coasters, eaten and thrown away. Their covers can be ripped off! Their spines can be broken! To buy a paperback today is to buy the means of revenging oneself on Western culture.”
– John Leonard, New York Times Book Review editor in 1968

Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants book cover

This book caught my eye as I was browsing the art section of the bookstore. As usual, I wasn’t looking to buy anything, but I walked out with a few books nonetheless. Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants is about the history and art of the mass-market paperback.

Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants The Catcher in the Rye

Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants inside pages

What I liked best about this book is what a lot of reviewers disliked: most of the 300+ pages are focused on artwork, not on history. I loved flipping through the themed sections like Love and Lust (romance, bodice-rippers), Funny Bone (humour), and The Dark Side (horror) and learning a little bit about each category while taking in the incredible (and sometimes hilarious) book covers.

Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants looks great on a coffee table and gets bonus points for having one of the greatest book titles ever.

Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants Down and Out in Paris and London

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