What’s a Pinup Book?

Does anybody know what “a pinup book” is? Klara and I are giving a Christmas gift to a resident of a local retirement home, and he wants “mystery or romance books; pinup book.” I can provide mystery books by the ton but the second part of the request has me stumped. Amazon is not being helpful.


18 thoughts on “What’s a Pinup Book?”

  1. Pinup?
    Klara’s a little young to be putting her name on a pinup book gift.

    I’m thinking he means something like this book Yes, they are very tame.
    He could be into drawings by Peter Driben, Gil Elvgren, or Alberto Vargas. Or maybe he’s just into naked Marilyn Monroe pictures; I have no idea how old this man is.


    1. He knows the requests go to a daycare. So I don’t think he expects people with kids to wrap that up together. I don’t even know how to explain this shit to a kid under the age of 14. And I’m a pedagogue.


      1. Everyone knows the kids at the daycare don’t wrap up the presents any more than they choose them. It’s not like Klara picks out a Mother’s Day card to give to you. N picks it out, gets her to sign it, or has her walk over with it to you. “Thank you Klara.”

        The purpose is to socialize kids in the rituals of gift giving. “At Christmas we give gifts to people. Giving gifts to people makes them happy and makes the gift giver happy. Sometimes people make suggestions for gifts we follow,” etc. So as long as there’s the barest pretense it comes from the kids a pinup book is inappropriate for the same reason a bottle of brandy would be.


  2. Maybe he’s confused with a pop-up book? Probably not…
    Romance novels for an older man also seems a bit weird… I’m sure some men read them but the combination of that and pin ups is a little…..
    Maybe you can just throw in a few extra mysteries and apologize to the daycare for not understanding what a pin up book is?


    1. I definitely have no in intention of bringing naked pictures into the daycare where we are are supposed to leave the gifts. I think I could get CPS called after me for that.


      1. “no in intention of bringing naked pictures ”

        I get your point (and fully agree) though technically I don’t think of pin ups as being naked (that would be a Centerfold book if such a thing exists).
        The classic pin up was Betty Grable in WWII in a white one piece bathing suit looking over her shoulder – it’s actually demure by modern standards.


  3. I would just buy the mysteries with no apologies and leave it at that. Like everyone here, my first thought is that he means a book about “pin up girls”–those Vargas type drawings.

    But even though I think Vargas prints are quite fun (subtle misogyny notwithstanding) it strikes me as such a wildly inappropriate request to make from a daycare center that I think we must be misunderstanding him. Plus “pinup book” is such an odd term. Is it possible he wants an Advent Calendar?


  4. Either we’re wildly misunderstanding him or he’s being wildly inappropriate (I also can only think of scantily clad women when I see “pinup book”, although usually those are in magazines and not books). Stick to the mysteries and pay it safe.


  5. As others have commented “pin-up book” is rather strange – I associate the term with either magazines or calendars, but not books. Please let us know if you get any clarification on this!


  6. We had pinup books as kids. You pasted things into them, or moved things around. You could make different kinds of pictures this way, set different scenes. You got a simple drawing, and a lot of different colored shapes that you could attach permanently or temporarily. You could also make your own shapes to pin up.


      1. I think Z’s comment makes a lot of sense. It must be something like this. I don’t have any context for the word “pin up”other than those mid century prints of frolicking buxom girls. But I have never heard the phrase “pin up book.” And given the day care context, I think it has to be something more like Z is suggesting. It just doesn’t make sense otherwise. So thank you Z. This has been puzzling me all day. 🙂


      2. Possibly. When I heard day care it was what I thought of. People on here may not be as old as I am — I don’t know if these things exist any more.


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