May 9, 2014

“Burn bras not books”: topless book club is back on the streets, in all its glory




Loyal readers know that MobyLives has quite the penchant for nudity. Recent examples include a nude French book cover, a nude French children’s book, and nude French booksellers protesting censorship of a nude French children’s book—just to name a few. Don’t think that we discriminate, however; we’ll take any country’s nudity that we can get.

This week’s offering is the New York-based Outdoor Co-Ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society. They do pretty much everything you’d expect them to: they meet, they disrobe, they read pulp fiction, and they never miss an opportunity to take pictures of themselves. The Huffington Post was fortunate enough to photograph two such meetings last week, which took place in Central Park on Friday, and on the roof of a “nude-friendly, gay-friendly, everything-friendly boutique hotel” on Saturday.

Naturally, books being read included intriguing pulp fiction titles like Hunt Through the Cradle of Fear, Borderline, and Brainquake. But, there were also some—ahem—cheekier choices. Moby-Dick and Abraham Lincoln, Presidential F*ck Machine seem like they’d be funny to read at a topless event, but maybe they just made everyone uncomfortable. You’d have to go to find out!

Fortunately, this book club loves getting naked, and they want to see you naked too. Formed several years ago as “a group of friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, and complete strangers, who love good books and sunny days,” according to their blog, they are happy to accept new members. And, in case you were worried about it, it is indeed legal to be topless outside in New York. In an interview with The Village Voice, the founding members explain:

The overall purpose of the group is for girls who want to take advantage of the legality of being topless in New York to be able to, while reading books. Along with bare-breasted sunbathing being something that we enjoy, we also have noticed that despite female toplessness being legal, there are very few who take advantage of it. We are hoping to go from this being something taboo to something of social inconsequence.

Their other purpose is obvious: they want to make reading sexy again. “Why shouldn’t reading be sexy?” they muse. But, we here at Melville House have something to say about that: sorry guys, we beat you to it.