Undress your books!

Following on from my post on Penguins new (jacketless!) Hardback classics designed by the talented Coralie Bickford-Smith… one blogger at The Guardian asks:

What is the point in dustjackets?

At last, an answer to the question that at one time or another crops up in all our minds, until we tell ourselves that we can’t possibly question the book and its entirely useless but seemingly essential jacket!
Even when we try to prise the jacket from its body, it feels wrong and we stop mid-undressing, only to cover up the ugly naked book once again with its aesthetically appealing jacket. After all, it must exist for a reason.

Yet, I wonder, is it all a question of identity and interpretation?

The jacket with all its fancy words, bright colours and artistic images is merely a marketing tool which unknowingly influences us when choosing a book. “Pick me! Pick me!”, and in our confusion we run for the one that attracts our eye, turn it over and only then do we read the blurb.

Consequently, in making our preliminary judgement of a book on its cover alone, does this then influence our reading of the text? Probably.

Our niggling desire to undress the book and unleash it from its restrictive jacket, is to free it from all preconceived ideologies and rid it of its imposing identity.

Its blank face left ready for us to make our own interpretation…


One thought on “Undress your books!

  1. Pingback: Penguin celebrates the 70th Anniversary of F.Scott Fitzgerald | Little Interpretations

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