“In this week’s musing MizB asks a question based on Craig Mod‘s article called Hack the Cover. The article basically tells us that covers are dead. Physical books are disappearing, e-books are taking over and publishers are increasingly skipping right to the content discarding digital covers. So MizB wants to know,
What do we think about this? Do we think the book cover is “dead”? Do we care whether the “covers” on digital books exist or not?“
Do I care? People who know me know that I am kind of an old fashioned prude who thinks ‘Facebook’ is a terrible waste of time and refuses to join in. So you bet that I care about the existence of book covers!
I don’t know if book covers are dead but I certainly don’t want them to be! Covers do matter whether physical or digital. Here are a few instances from my life.
As an yet uneducated 3 year old, I loved looking at the brightly drawn cover of Chestnut-Grey and the more sombre cover of The White Deer (two mysterious books that have been on our shelves from before my birth, books that my parents swear they didn’t buy). As I sat there looking at them my heart filled with anticipation about the treasures hidden inside them.
I would eagerly read the back page of each of my Penguin Popular Classics editions, wanting to know what art work has been used as the cover.
And very recently reading It’s Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock – A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler en route to my workplace and people asking me what book I was reading. The striking cover grabbing everyone’s attention and surprising me!
Okay let’s get back to digital books. I am not that into them but when I occasionally do read one I prefer the ones that do not skip directly to the first page of the first chapter or table of contents. The cover makes my ‘digital’ reading experience seem more ‘real’.
So, yes I do care whether the “covers” on exist or not, whether on digital books or real books.