#NotBuyingIt : Out of Print Clothing Advertising Fail

Just to be clear, I LOVE Out of Print Clothing. Not only do they have awesome clothes and accessories that are well-made, reasonably priced, and fit well, each of their products features a unique book cover which helps spread the love of reading. Not only that, but for every product they sell, they donate a book to their partner, Books for Africa, doing their part to help increase literacy rates throughout the world. It truly is amazing.

But, of course, not every company can be perfect. Check out their Valentine’s Day email advertising, with gifts “for him” and “for her”:

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According to them, books that guys like include Moby Dick, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Call of the Wild, Slaughterhouse Five, 1984, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Great Gatsby. Books that girls like include Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Romeo and Juliet, and Tropic of Cancer.

Gee. I guess I wasted a whole lot of time reading and enjoying books like Slaughterhouse Five, The Great Gatsby, and 1984 then, since us “little women” just want books about girls and marriage and star-crossed lovers, huh?

The thing about Out of Print Clothing is that they actually offer a huge range of book covers in women’s t-shirt sizes. In fact, all of the covers featured on their “for him” guide are available in women’s sizes. Not only that, but their men’s sizes aren’t overly bulky and fit like normal t-shirts, too, and the men’s sizes include many of the “for her” book covers as well.

I have no problem with Out of Print Clothing. I’m sporting one of their shirts right now, in fact, and I will continue to purchase items from them in the future. However, this Valentine’s Day gift guide is a fail. It reads like it was tailored for someone who wants to buy their significant other a gift and knows he or she likes books but doesn’t know a whole lot else about him or her. Books are personal, and if you’re going to wear one on your sleeve – or your chest, as it were – you want one you absolutely love (or, in my case, one you teach to your students so they can laugh at how much of a nerd you are to have a book t-shirt).

Here’s a Valentine’s Day hint: In order to give a proper book-related gift, spend some time talking with your significant other and actually find out what books they like. That way, you’ll buy a great, gender-free gift that your significant other will cherish AND you’ll have some great books to talk about for the rest of your lives.

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