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Sunny's bookshelf photo by Judy Solomon

Online book reviews since 2011, the very best in reviewing – connecting good readers with equally good writers

Let’s Hear It for the Hardcovers

What a delight to read the following article from the NYT:

There’s no denying the convenience of downloadable books. And the brouhaha over hardcovers vs. downloads will not go away any time soon, but I’m always a bit surprised when those readers who prefer their print on a Kindle or other similar device, voice their belief that the hardcover book will become as passe to publishing as the buggy whip was to Henry’s Model T.

I think there’s probably a middle ground and I, for one, have no problem seeing the e-book and the hardcover coexisting.  Julie Bosman’s article highlights several recent and soon to be published books with especially designed covers of eye-grabbing attention. It’s heartening to know that some publishing houses are paying attention to both readers who require convenience and readers who value not only the text, but the beauty of the book as an object itself.  This is nothing new and certainly not relegated to book covers. Anybody who has read the early Knopf editions of Willa Cather’s novels know the beauty of how Cather’s words are set on each page. The margins and design details of every page tell the reader that they are holding as well as reading something special. Not only is the embossed cover of Where The Blue Begins, by Christopher Morley, gorgeous, but the book came boxed with a paste down picture. If publishers are going to seriously pay attention to design, maybe we diehards can no longer say, “They don’t make them like they used to.”

The combination of books and art has a long history. As a bookseller, I used to blanch when parents would put the kibosh on a book with illustrations for their darlings. Too many parents hold tight to the belief that once children can read, they should move quickly into chapter books, sans illustrations. That’s another entire blog. But for now, thank you Julie Bosman for sharing some very uplifting news, and yes, I got it off the Internet because the bookstore where I once worked has folded and I can’t afford a home delivered NYT.

S. Solomon

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