I'm going to start out by saying I'm pro e-book. It's really hard to argue against the convenience of e-book readers, both in terms of speed and weight.
When I pick up a book like Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior — which I'm currently reading and obsessed with — my feelings for e-book readers suddenly turn sour. It's not the scent, the heft or the texture of the pages that changes me (though those are nice). It's the cover. The gorgeous, reflective, textured cover.
On the shelf, Flight Behavior looks nice enough. The warmth of it draws my eye, even though I don't love yellows much. But in my hand, up close, the movement of the leaves — or are they flames? — is striking. They flicker up the page and bring the title to life.
My favorite thing about the cover is that the leaves are embossed into the page. This makes them shimmer, but also turns holding the book into a tactile experience. It's borderline interactive. Perhaps this sounds crazy, but I am so attracted to textured covers — whether they delight me like this one or repulse me like Alissa Nutting's Tampa, which I stroked in a Barnes and Noble after hearing from Kate how creepy the velvet casing was.
I think we sometimes forget how much information our hands take in but these cover designers, evidently, did not.
PS: I'm fiddling around with an events listing page for cool literary and culinary happenings around Chicago. Is this of interest? What would you like to see here?
LINKIN' LA VIDA LOCA
- A secret bookstore.
- Book-sharing on the CTA.
- Kids' books don't need pictures.
- An "L" map of Chicago coffee shops.
- Postage stamps featuring famous chefs.
- Cafes that are actually literary landmarks.
- Recovered? More like re-covered. Classics get a new look.
- Forget e-books, how do you feel about 3D-printed books?
- Cool Kickstarter alert: The Bite-Sized Book of Bite-Sized Recipes.
- In honor of Banned Books Week, eight banned books worth reading.
- I finally watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi! So much to learn from a talented yet humble master.