Know Your Street Art: Read Mother Fucking Books!

It's a simple sticker that's just a few inches in diameter. And it's been attached to an inconspicuous surface: the side of a trash bin in San Francisco's Outer Richmond District. A taqueria owns the bin and puts it outside its front door every day, where the little sticker announces to anyone who sees it: "Read Mother Fucking Books! All Damn Day." OK. Like a snappy advertising slogan, the message is direct and (dare we say) catchy, giving the sticker a pop gravitas that separates it from the more abstract and humdrum stickers that adorn the trash receptacle. Who placed it there? Unclear. But similar stickers have appeared in public places around the United States for at least two years, put there (apparently) by a collective of disparate people who are tired of America's precipitous decline in book-reading. In a city like San Francisco, where reading books is celebrated with wild abandon, the preachy sticker is preaching to the converted. But it does it with style (the sticker uses a nice mix of fonts and colors) and slyness: The sticker is not too small to go unnoticed, and not too big to be completely obnoxious.

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