Facial masks this summer and fall are making profound health, political, entrepreneurial, fashion, and now literary statements—the last thanks to a new line of face coverings presented, together with the American Booksellers Association (ABA), by Out of Print (OOP), the Manhattan-based Penguin Random House company that is the leading creator of licensed book-centric apparel and accessory items celebrating the lifestyle of literature and reading. Made of polyester and cotton, the masks are on sale at specialty gift and bookstores nationwide, for $12 each.
The seven mask styles available are a mix of licensed book art and original designs are available in Adult small/medium and medium/large sizing. The three most popular mask selections to date have been “The Pigeon,” based on art from the Mo Willems book; and “Bookshelf” and “Banned Books,” both OOP original designs. Others in the series are “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” inspired by the Douglas Adams novel; “Book Nerd,” an OOP + Underlined collaboration; “Curl Up with a Book,” an OOP original design; and “Books, Books, Books,” an OOP + Penguin Teen collaboration.
The project began in April when the ABA contacted OOP seeking masks that were book-themed for store staff and readers. A portion of each sale is being donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) to assist bookstores impacted by COVID-19.
Allison K. Hill, Chief Executive Officer, American Booksellers Association, observed, “Out of Print has always been a great partner to the indies and a great example of blending social responsibility with business. ABA is excited about this launch and very grateful for Out of Print’s support of Binc.”
Since its beginnings in 2010 as an independent company, and continuing after its purchase by Penguin Random House in 2017, Out of Print has made social responsibility and giving back financially a core tenet of its business model and philosophy. As recent examples, the company donated 100% of its profits from its sales on June 2—$50,000—to Black Lives Matter. They also collaborated anew with author Mo Willems on a “Take Heart” COVID-19 Benefit tee shirt created from an original illustration of his, with 100% of the profits donated to World Central Kitchen to support emergency workers and pandemic-stricken communities. Over the past decade, OOP has donated over four million books to the underserved.
Full selection HERE!