In the debate about the switch to digital media and its implications for newspapers, books, etc., one realizes the little details that we will miss by transitioning to laptops and Kindles. For those that think fondly on their colorful novels, this article by Bob Greene will especially resonate. He mourns a loss of the book jacket and a concept of books:
“almost a piece of art independent of the words, when the jacket is evocative and illuminating. …
The existence of a gorgeous jacket amplifies the truth that a book is not, or at least should not be, disposable. It is a part of your life that is there for the long run.”
Judging a book by its cover is useful in the information that it gives, as Greene cites Motoko Rich, people notice a cover when others are reading in public and are inspired to learn more about the book or to start a conversation with the reader. Scott Bowen joins the conversation on True/Slant.com: Losing the book jacket, losing ourselves. Think of all the effort that goes into making cover art, the artists employed, numerous versions based on book release, the friendly rivalry among book enthusiasts. I would agree that for me covers are a beautiful addition to the reading experience and become associated with my memories of the lovely words I find inside. I hope book jackets remain a part of the industry no matter what direction it takes.