Image Gallery: The Art of the Paperback

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We’re suckers for a juicy paperback as much as anyone else, but there’s no denying that the modern grocery store variety falls short on external appeal. Although raised gold lettering and glossy monochrome tend to dominate recent cover design, the art of the paperback was once a far more enticing feature of cheap genre fiction. Steven Brower’s Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants pays homage to a wide-ranging variety of paperback art from the last century — from romance to mystery, science fiction, and westerns — while detailing the nuances of the medium’s evolution. Many of the featured stories are out of print these days, so consider this your guilt-free chance to judge a book by its cover.