How to Be the Most Fashionable Bookworm Ever

There’s always the classic librarian look to fall back on–pearls, sweaters, glasses–but a TRUE book lover represents the books they love by modeling them.  As they say, you are what you…wear?

Hard Case Crime is an imprint dedicated to reviving the crime fiction genre in the pulp book format.  They’re known for their amazing retro covers and in celebration of their relaunch this week, there was a fashion show at the High Line park where this fabulous flapper-reminiscent dress, designed by Hally McGehean, was revealed.  (Read more about the design inspiration and fashion show here).  A little history about the cover art:

From World War II through the 1960s, paperback crime novels were one of the fastest-selling categories in book publishing. Millions of readers snapped up hundreds of millions of books by well-known authors like Erle Stanley Gardner and Mickey Spillane, as well as by promising young newcomers like Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake. These inexpensive, pocket-sized novels captured the public’s imagination with jaw-dropping cover paintings and bare-knuckled prose that grabbed you by the collar with the first sentence and held you until the last page. No one had published books like that in years.

Until we came along.

One of the founders spoke at the NYU Summer Publishing Institute this summer and the author of their newest book Getting Off, the famous crime writer Lawrence Block, also came to speak.  They were both quite the characters and it was an honor to be in their audience.  I think that the devotion many readers have to these books–people don’t just buy one, they buy every book the imprint offers–their almost-forgotten format, and their seductive covers is proof that print books are never going to die completely.  Publishers just need to get a little more creative and give readers extra reasons why they should keep supporting print.

PS:  For those of you who think you don’t know Hard Case Crime, FALSE!  Have you ever read the works of a little guy named Stephen King?


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