Nobody wants to be caught reading The Joy of Sex while on the subway, or be deep in the final chapter of Understanding Your Bowels right when a hot date shows up for dinner.
Well, nobody, that is, except Michelle Watters, who thrives on making jaws drop at the sight of controversial reading material. The former stay-at-home mom from Ottawa is the creative force behind Flapart, fake book covers that feature tongue-in-cheek titles such as The Nutritional Benefits of Nose- Picking and Laser Eye Surgery at Home.
The intentionally controversial dust jackets can either be used as an innovative form of gift wrapping, or simply as a way of striking up conversation during an otherwise mundane commute to work.
“My husband actually came up with the idea,” says Watters, currently in Toronto promoting her product line. “He said to me, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if you were sitting on the subway reading a book and the cover said something like, How to Murder a Complete Stranger and Get Away With It?’ And yeah, I mean, just imagine what people around you would think — especially when you finished it.”
Watters knew she was onto something, so she came up with a few other titles — Do- It-Yourself Liposuction, Perfecting the Art of Fart Projection, Coroner by Correspondence, How to Overcome Nymphomania — and hired a graphic illustrator to design some covers; while the nose-picking and fart projection ones are decidely more text-book-like in style, the liposuction cover has a distinct chick-lit feel to it.
Watters has expanded the list of titles to include safer alternatives like How to Get Your Brother Kicked Out of the House, and seasonal options like The Lover’s Guide to Winning Hearts, for Valentine’s Day. Still, the top sellers are Nose-Picking and Fart Projection.
Image from FlapArt.