This weekend, I made the mistake of taking a break from the computer (give or take the odd hour) and now find myself so far behind with correspondence and blogs that I am hoping to catch up by this weekend so apologies for not visiting you for a while. I shall be around your respective blogs tomorrow at the latest, as ever thanks for your patience and understanding and now onto today’s post…
When I was younger the sight of a wall full of books without covers was galling to say the very least, all those possible adventures and no idea what they were, apart from the titles and a cursory flick through which usually confused me more. One good thing was not being able to judge the book by its missing cover but still it would have been nice to have a happy medium of knowing what the book I was purchasing would be about, the fiction books always proved a lot more subtle of title than their non fiction counterparts.
Yet there is something more mystical about having to take the time to actually explore prospective purchases, weighing them up and finding some eccentric titles such as How to Look at Old Buildings, that just demand to be picked up and leafed through. These days I don’t get annoyed by the sight of naked books any more but see it as a chance to take a punt on an unknown author and hopefully find some hidden gems.
Back in the day buying a book would mean that a lot of the time a dust jacket would be thrown away at point of purchase which I find crazy, surely the price has factored in the cost of a dust jacket so the reader would be out of pocket with no reference to what the book was if not read within a reasonable time. I would have jealously guarded mine. There are some lovely dust jackets out there and although it saddens me that so many have been lost, it is good to see so many brightly decorated specimens surviving with their often intriguing and colourful covers.
Many a book lover has lost themselves amongst the stacks of multitudinous uncovered books, its fun to find a forgotten classic or a cheaper version of one at any case or to just read bits and bobs and see what authors catch your eye. it makes me happy to be that guy and these days I am as much a lover of those books as their clothed and colourful counterparts.
Whilst we are on the subject, what do you do with your dust jackets whilst you read? I tend to take it off and keep my investment in perfect condition so it will look good on my shelves. Some people like to leave them on and that is a mentality I don’t understand, it’ll get frayed and if it’s a book bought at full price then it’s like needless vandalism and older books need all the protecting they can get. Of course sometimes taking it off reveals a sexy looking cover the reader didn’t expect or at least a recreation of the dust jacket, an added bonus which naturally encouraged me to spend some time stripping my tomes off in the ultimate erotic book experience.
Personally I would like a hand crafted book, with those illustrated capital letters at the beginning of each chapter which monks used to love doing. These days, it seems to save money books are losing their jackets in favour of an imprinted designs but thankfully keeping the blurb and cover designs. I remain intrigued to see what the publishers will do next, hopefully not lopping off the corners like they did in the new Battlestar Galactica but you wouldn’t put it past them to save pennies in such a way.