Vintage Novelties

I don’t often read non-fiction, and when I do, they’re mostly palate-cleansers, e.g. books I read in between books when I get bogged down by lengthy reads, and more often than not, they’re either trivia books or novelty books.

Now, I can never resist pretty books, and I love vintage art, so I’ve got a growing collection of novelty books that feature vintage ephemera. Four more were added to my collection recently: Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item by Mark Newgarden and Picture Box, Inc., which I recently unearthed from my TBR (bought it two years ago, it was still wrapped in its plastic casing); Let’s Be Safe by Benjamin Darling (via BookMooch); Fireside: A Family Companion by Janice Anderson (book sale bargain bin, for P25); and What the Doctor Smokes and other inspiring adverts through the ages by Kate Parker and the Advertising Archives (Powerbooks Book Barter).

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Store in a cool, dry place

Several weeks ago, I spotted the book Shelf Life by Rosie Walford with Paula Benson and Paul West (book #76 for 2009) at Book Sale but it was priced P170 (around $3.50) so as amusing as it appeared to be, I decided to pass. Whenever I’m in Book Sale and a book I like is too expensive (i.e. over P100, that’s around $2) and I don’t think I’ll lose sleep if I don’t buy it right away, I usually pass because I’m always hopeful that a cheaper copy will turn up sooner or later.

This Sunday, I found a copy of Shelf Life at another Book Sale branch and it was only P90 (under $2), so I decided the book belonged on my book shelf.

Shelf Life, subtitled “A celebration of the world’s quirkiest brands,” is a pictorial collection of local products from all over the world that have funny and peculiar (often suggestive) brand names.

I’ll let some photos from the book do the talking, just pardon the whacked-out angles as my scanner is currently out of commission.

Dutch brown sugar

I wonder exactly how inviting this one is?

sounds ominous…

Maybe it talks?

It must have some special properties!

And here are a couple of brands that are available here in the Philippines:

I’ve always been queasy at the thought of ingesting this.

One of my favorite childhood snacks!

The book is a lot of fun to leaf through, and I was in stitches the whole time!

My copy: hardcover

My rating: 4/5 stars