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    « Family Christmas Stories | Main | A Conference For the Family Biographer »
    Wednesday
    Dec222010

    Judging Books By Their Covers

    If you love books, you might want to take a closer look at their covers.

    “Sometimes the cover of a book is as memorable as the book itself,” says Erin Moriarty of CBS News as she launches a segment of CBS Sunday Morning which explores the art of book covers.

    Jamie Rabb of Grand Central Publishing, told Moriarty, “Book covers are important. You go into a bookstore and what do you see? You see the covers. The book experience is about the design, the color, the shape, the feel. When you walk into a bookstore sure sometimes your overwhelmed, but aren’t you stimulated by the art?”

    The cover has a critical function. “It’s a billboard,” said Peter Mendelsund, of Alfred Knopf who designed the cover for the Stieg Larsson novel, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its two sequels. “You hope yours shouts the loudest or entices the most intriguing way."

    Originally intended simply to protect book, in the mid - 19th century covers became ornamental. Today, covers have become an important part of the books value. Michael Inman, Curator of Rare Books for the New York Public Library offered first editions of The Great Gatsby as an example. A copy purchased without a dust jacket might go for $10,000, but with its dust jacket the price jumps to $80,000.

    Says Chip Kidd, who designed the cover for Jurassic Park, “Covers are iconic because the books are iconic.”

     

    Click here to view the CBS video Judging Books by Their Covers

    

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