I think a natural adaptation to working in ever-social, ever-mobile media is to crave the anachronistic: long-form writing, physical books, analog watches, excursions outside the range of cell phone towers. Everyone needs a life of balance, which explains why I completely burned through the printed version of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy when Thanksgiving break rolled around. It was weird. I sat on a couch for hours on end just to get through it. Very different from sitting in a desk chair for hours on end staring at a hyperactive screen, it turns out.
Last year, Jackie (She’s basically my pusher for consumerism, and my fellow iPad book case owner.) pointed me to a series of iPhone cases by Speck designed with the vintage art of classic books. At the time the cases wouldn’t fit my phone, so I vowed that when it was time to upgrade again, I’d find a book-y case to fit it. I periodically checked back on cases as I awaited the announcement of the iPhone 4S, and learned a little bit more about the philosophy behind the design series.
That’s when I realized I already knew the company Speck collaborated with. I met some folks from Out of Print a couple of MAGICs ago, and Co-Founder Todd was extra nice, letting me buy a shirt off the rack before it was officially selling time at the trade show. At that time, Out of Print was focused on reviving old cover art on T-shirts. Feeling ironic, I picked out The Naked Lunch shirt (Get it? Can’t be naked if you’re wearing a T-shirt! Har har.) for Bill – Even though neither of us have read the book. (Oops.)
Finally, I received my iPhone 4S in the mail, thereby giving me reason to order Out of Print’s Great Gatsby iPhone case, and bringing up our household Out of Print product tally to two.
And then Out of Print announced its new form of expression: stationery. What. Perfect. Timing. I don’t know if you noticed, but IT’S DECEMBER ALREADY, meaning people are sending out holiday cards. Physical greeting cards are another one of those analog things that I’m happy to make a tradition, and Out of Print’s selection of literary designs is going to perfectly please like-minded folk.
Out of Print sent me a sample of some of their designs, and I’m leaning toward framing one as a print (Pride and Prejudice, if you must know.), and very carefully selecting worthy book-loving recipients for the rest. There are a dozen different book designs to choose from, plus one collage card (would make some pretty sick wrapping paper!), and you can check out the full range below. Each comes in a craft envelope with enough added character to make your recipient forget about Hallmark. And,…
Every Out of Print purchase yields one donated book to African children through Out of Print’s partner, Books for Africa. It’s all well and good to have your cards, iPhones, T-shirts be classy and speak well for your personal style and reading choices, but it feels much, much better to know that you’re benefitting a community in need at the same time.
As my home’s Out of Print product population continues to grow, I’m going to breathe a sigh of relief that I am still able to execute olde world skills: writing a letter, mailing via USPS, and spreading the kind of holiday cheer that can physically sit on an otherwise blank windowsill. Between Bill’s holiday cards and Out of Print’s, friends and family are going to get truly personalized treatment this year.