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Outside Reading

By Darryl Estherbrook

Magazine racks around the Square cater to a wide range of student interests, offering reading that's not on the reading lists. Some periodicals emphasize self-help: "Seven Ways to Improve Your Sex Technique," and "You, Too, Can Drink Anyone Under the Table." Others offer household hints, such as "How to Cook a Man," and "How to Prospect for Uranium." Educational articles on "Science Conquers Sex" and "The Girl Who Gave Birth to Rabbits," vie with sports features like "French Girls on a Six-Day Grind" (women cyclists).

"The boys read them to relax," explained a Brother in the Camarada Brothers' Valeteria. For students who relax better with pictures, most of the magazines offer studies of women on beaches, women on the stage, and women at home.

"We're trying to build up the woman trade," said one of the Brothers Camarada. He pointed to the racks of "Magazines for Men." "Radcliffe doesn't go for this stuff. But the Harvard boys eat it up." Demand is fairly steady for all magazines; students and professors take about fifty copies of each issue, though a striking cover can attract several hundred buyers. Among the pocket-size books there are a few best-sellers, such as the novels of Jack Woodford and a book called "I, the Jury." "That's just been banned," a Brother said. We've been selling that out for years, and all of a sudden they banned it."

Westerns and movie magazines in Cahaly's don't find a college audience, though "some of the professors like comic books." Walt Disney is popular with both students and faculty. And a few men, it seems, are struggling through Humanities 2 with the aid of Classic Comics.

Pulp novels have a fast turnover, among a limited group. Titles at Felix's stay about the same: "Virgin With Butterflies," "Reckless Virgin," "Passion Girl." The man in charge explained that a customer for these usually bought a serious journal as well. "A man comes in and first he buys the New Republic or Time," he said. "Then he stands around and looks at these for a while, and finally he buys one. When he goes out, the New Republic is on top." As for Radcliffe: "Frankly, I think the girls are just bashful."

Just then a boy came over from the Yard and asked for a copy of "I, the Jury."

"Sorry," the man said. "It's been banned."

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