The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

10 Websites for Vintage Books, Covers and Inspiration


1. A Journey Round My Skull — “Unhealthy book fetishism from a reader, collector, and amateur historian of forgotten literature.”

2. The Art of Penguin Science FictionA comprehensive collection of Penguin sci-fi covers from 1935 onwards.

3. BibliOdyssey“Books… Illustrations… Science… History… Visual Materia Obscura… Eclectic Bookart.”

4. Book (Design) Stories — Felix Wiedler’s incredible collection of modernist design and typography books from Germany and Switzerland 1925–1965.

5. Book Worship — “graphically interesting, but otherwise uncollectible, books that entered and exited bookstores quietly in the 50s, 60s, and 70s”.

6. I Was A Bronze Age BoyComic books, crime fiction and pulp magazines curated by Mark Justice. Awesome name. Awesome blog.

7. Killer Covers of the Week — Pulpy goodness and vintage crime fiction covers expertly curated The Rap Sheet‘s J. Kingston Pierce.

8. The Pelican ProjectThings Magazine‘s collection of Pelican paperbacks organized by decade.

9. Pop Sensation — Rex Parker appraises, critiques and generally ridicules his vintage paperback collection.

10. Spanish Book CoversSpanish pulp: detectives, masked gangsters, pin-ups, skeletons, and zombies! (French language)

AND BONUS! 11. French Book Covers — But not entirely safe for work… It’s French. You have been warned.

Let me know if I’ve missed any other great vintage book cover sites. AND  I’m working on a list of book cover related photostreams and groups on Flickr so please pass on your recommendations! Cheers.

modernist book design in germany and switzerland 1925–1965 (and beyond)

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  1. Glad to be included here Dan! I have a good link to add to it:

  2. Thanks Will. I can only aspire to The Cas. Op being quite as good as A Journey Round My Skull! :-)

  3. awesome post, love the links, lots of new stuff to discover and think about!

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  5. Thanks again Dan for this fantastic round-up! And your afterthought re: the Alvin Lustig archives duly noted. Have added this post of yours to StumbleUpon. :~)

  6. Thanks Amy! Alvin Lustig’s work is amazing. The site was on my original list but somehow got lost in the shuffle. Anyway I will try and get the list of Flickr pages posted ASAP! :-)

  7. I retweet stuff. I thought this was great. The only thing is, I try to be sort of “G-rated” or at least PG in case children are reading (not likely but possible) and I think a more explicit warning or hint about the French pornographie would be in order. You know, if you want to avoid the P-word, then something like “not suitable for children” or “x-rated” or something.

  8. Thanks for your comment Litbirthdays. I did say that the French Book Covers blog was not entirely safe for work! But I’m sorry if that was too reticent a warning. I will try and be more er… explicit about such things in future. Thanks again.

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  12. James Morrison’s Caustic Cover Critic ( is a fine book-related blog as well, that could have very well made it into that list.

    Pedro Marques

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  16. Some of these I hadn’t heard of. Thanks for posting.

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