Books as Objects

February 12, 2015

Calendars, Timelines, and Collages: Mapping the Imaginary 5

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I got curious about the other visual aids that novelists create to manage their books, so I asked around and gathered a variety of notebook pages, diagrams, and timelines.

February 10, 2015

Merging Two Loves: Cover Art Reimagined 2

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In an effort to merge two loves of mine — writing and photography — I recently began this photo series that pairs snippets of novels with fun visuals that expand upon their cover art.

February 6, 2015

Judging Books by Their Covers 2015: US Vs. Netherlands 11

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I was recently looking at the covers of Dutch-language books. Despite our different cultures, we share many overlaps in our literary taste. I hoped that I could draw some conclusions about those tastes by comparing book covers. After spending way too much time on the task, I conclude that I can’t.

January 12, 2015

Judging Books by Their Covers 2015: US Vs. UK 15

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We are undoubtedly swayed by the little billboard that is the cover of every book we read.

September 4, 2014

Art Inspires Fiction: On the Power of Jacket Design 6

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I loved this photograph in all its weirdness and, more to the point, I was just relieved that no one was proposing slapping on my novel the image of a woman holding a briefcase, a baby, or a mop.

January 27, 2014

Judging Books by Their Covers 2014: U.S. Vs. U.K. 17

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We are undoubtedly swayed by the little billboard that is the cover of every book we read.

April 2, 2013

The Point of the Paperback 16

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Here’s what I learned, after a month of talking to editors, literary agents, publishers, and other authors: A paperback isn’t just a cheaper version of the book anymore. It’s a makeover. A facelift. And for some, a second shot.

February 11, 2013

Judging Books by Their Covers 2013: U.S. Vs. U.K. 56

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We are undoubtedly swayed by the little billboard that is the cover of every book we read.

July 19, 2012

Prescriptivists vs. Descriptivists: The Fifth Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary 21

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For all its many virtues, the fifth edition is not perfect. Its one glaring flaw is an introductory essay written by the chairman of the Usage Panel, Steven Pinker, a Harvard University linguist and cognitive scientist who is also an avowed descriptivist. What’s that whirring noise I hear? Is it William Morris, who died in 1994, spinning in his grave?

February 8, 2012

Judging Books by Their Covers: U.S. Vs. U.K. 65

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We are undoubtedly swayed by the little billboard that is the cover of every book we read.