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Beautiful Books

By Meghan Hanson 

Books You Will Want To Open

 

 "I like to start with a blank slate, I  enjoy the feeling of not knowing what I’m doing.” 

--book designer Helen Yentus, from an interview with Lindsay Ballant in printmag.com


There is something exciting about trusting a book by the cover alone. Maybe I live an unexciting life, or maybe I like to live on the edge and break rules. Don't judge a book by its cover? hmmm

Scenario: You wander into a book store on a hot summer afternoon for equal parts air conditioning and the intent to loiter pleasantly without purchase. You make your way around the store and discover a book cover that is home for a book you've never heard of before. You are fascinated. You Buy it. The publishing angels rejoice. 

Worst Case: You buy The Time Traveler's Wife despite the cliche of the "big shoe, little shoe" on the cover. You got what you deserved: disappointment from the lack of substance... except if you are/were a high school girl. Then you maybe like/liked TTTW. 

 

Best Case: You just bought a Zadie Smith book, because darnit why wouldn't you? Her book covers are always as brilliant as her prose. 


 


This "book shop experience," is an indulgence that has become less and less a part of Sunday afternoons and more a part of bored and sleepy midnight crawls over amazon.com. Call me lazy, or at least call me a sucker, but if I had dollars to spend, I'd shell out a few extra for a pretty paperback, especially one printed on matte, textured stock. I'd even pay a few more dollars to buy it in a real, live store. 

The following 50 book covers pulled from bookcoverarchive.com incorporate illustration, font, and design with the energy of a band poster and the efficiency of a billboard. Though I'd rather we could all loiter in the nearest bookstore together for hours on end, this electronic shelf of finely designed dust jackets will just have to do. 

 

Author: Jill Ciment

Designer: Helen Yentus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: David Pearson

Author: Cormac McCarthy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, YOU'RE the awkward one, jerk!

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