Is it art? Well, probably most people will tell you, no. But in the end, someone wrote these books and someone else drew these covers, so there was certainly a modicum of creativity involved. And in my little world pop and kitsch art, it has ended up as a part of a piece of art... And it's something that I adore: the colorful covers of vintage "sleazy" novels. The titles and the graphics are just so much fun - and decorative!
The first thing with a copy of such a cover on it, that I bought, was a key ring - a nice little souvenir from Den Haag.
Note the line at the bottom: "This is an original Nightstand Book"! And as I have found out, this wasn't just meant to say this was the kind of book you kept on your nightstand and didn't read in public - these books were called just that - it was a whole line, that was started in 1959 by Hamling Publishing, after the market for science fiction books had collapsed. It spawned other lines like "Midnight Readers" - they couldn't have put it any better I guess!
And funnily enough, the book above is going to be reprinted... as you can read here (this is also a pretty good blog about sleazy reads). Talk about chance... this is was only the second link I clicked when I searched for more info on Nightstand Books. Another virtual-needle-in-the-haystack-find.
A few years ago, I also found postcards with sleazy book cover prints that made a nice addition to my willy-nillies:"Sin on Wheels" made it onto my very first willy-nilly.
And "The Hot Canary" made into the second one - right next to a postcard from Montreal. The subtitle reads "She sang for her supper but did something else for her midnight snack." Now that leaves almost nothing to imagination...
More great covers can be seen in this fun Flickr set: Sleazy Reads. Aren't they the best?
I've never had an actual book of these in my hands - but if I can get my hands on one, I'll give it a try. Can't be worse than some of the bad stuff I've already read. Hey, you can't always read serious stuff only - we all need our dose of fluff! I do admit that I read the modern, feminine version of this - thought there's nothing sleazy about those. Happens that I do keep one my nightstand though. And that's where I'm off to now... nighty-night!