Monday, March 06, 2006

Chronicle: Book Nerd Fashion

It's been a big weekend for T-shirts showing Book Nerd Pride. On Friday I discovered this irresistible item at Bank Street Books, the wonderful Upper West Side children's bookstore:

I was crazy about author Mo Willem's pigeon character in his hilarious (and extremely good for contrary kids who love to shout "NO" on every page) book DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS. (The sequel, THE PIGEON FINDS A HOT DOG, was equally funny, if not as interactive.) Now here he is becoming a spokesbird for literacy! The book he's holding is called, of course, HOW TO DRIVE A BUS.

Saturday the ALP and I braved the cold to walk to our local Neighborhoodies store. These guys started out as an Internet-only company based in Brooklyn, and has started opening bricks-and-mortar stores in the last couple of years, providing the same service of custom-made T-shirt designs (they now have bags, sweatshirts and undies too). Their cozy Atlantic Avenue shop is a great temptation to those of us full of witty slogans which need to be shared with the world. Neighborhoodies was the source of my original Book Nerd Pride shirt, a gift from the ALP:

I find I'm less self-conscious wearing it when I'm not actually working at the bookstore... facing customers all day in a shirt that seems to imply that its literate inhabitant considers herself quite the hottie can be a tad embarrassing. But I love this shirt, and I wear it with pride when walking around in Brooklyn and not in such constant face-to-face contact.

Today's T-shirt design was all my own, a celebration of my geeky joy in books and in this blog, too:

I realized after the fact that the goth font and rockin' design were totally inspired by the cover of Anne Thomas Soffee's book NERD GIRL ROCKS PARADISE CITY (Chicago Review Press), a memoir of her years as a music reviewer in '80s L.A. I should probably rip out the collar to make it look a little more punk... but I do intend to wear this one to work. I just hope nobody is freaked out by militant book loving.

(All photographs courtesy the ALP, in our kitchen.)


Laura said...

I have a smiliar "Reading Is Sexy" shirt too (see: I also am much more comfortable wearing it when I'm not working at the bookstore. Otherwise, I love it.

And boy am I smitten with the Driven To Read shirt. It's fantstic!

piksea said...

I have the reading is sexy shirt (the long sleeve one) from Bas Bleu and I love it! I want the pigeon t, I love reading 'Don't Let the Pigeon drive the bus' to my bf's 4 year old. He loves yelling "NO!" everytim the pigeon asks.

Signals catalog has really cute book/reader tees and sweatshirts, including some cute Edward Goreys.

Did you commission the "Read or Die" shirt yourself? I would love one of those!!!

Andy Laties said...

Larry Rakow's company Kidstamps is the producer for both the Willems and the Gorey shirts (as well as quite a few other terrific children's-lit t's and great mugs and of course lots of rubber stamps.) Here's a page where he's selling retail to the public. Elsewhere on his site you can apply for a wholesale account if you're running a store. By the way I suspect it would be possible to do an entire store in NYC handling his licensed products and live off it.

Book Nerd said...

Nice to hear from fellow literary fashionistas! I'm totally going to look into these other sources for bookish gear.

aquariumticket said...

Dear Book Nerd,

Do you have a head? If not, where do you get all your ideas? Yuk yuk yuk... Love the fashion show! MB