I got an email update from Vroman’s Bookstore (my favorite local indie bookshop) re: the new Indiebound journal line they’re carrying:
Love. Eat. Sleep. Read.
They’re not in the online shop yet, but if you’re in the Pasadena area be sure to stop by and check out their store–I could spend hours in there. Days in the children’s department alone. And thousands of dollars (if I had them, which I don’t, but I do bring the credit card with the lowest balance whenever I shop there).
I know for a fact Maria V. Snyder was almost late to her own book signing at my store because she was mesmerized by the seemingly endless treasures at Vroman’s!
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In other news, I succumbed to temptation and now own 2 of the 3 books (Atwood + Moore) I lusted after in the previous post, plus a paperback copy of Paper Towns (whosoever does John Green‘s book design over at Speak/Penguin Teen deserves to be showered with flowers and cookies, and possibly some lolcats-style baby kittens–they are just so beautifully designed, I can’t help but want them!) and Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy (Bloody Jack, Book 7) by L. A. Meyer.
The John Green gallery of awesome book covers:
An Abundance of Katherines
Looking for Alaska
Paper Towns (HC)
Paper Towns (QP)
Whoever you are, anonymous designer whose name does not appear on the cover or the back of the title page, thank you.
Also of interest: John Green’s blog post: Book Covers and the Death of Publishing. I don’t quite agree with him 100% (and I’ve revised this next sentence since yesterday since I don’t think I adequately expressed what I wanted to say).
I do agree that book covers should be targeted to the ideal reader (i.e. if you like this cover, you will like this book) and not the broadest possible buying audience (i.e. if you like this cover, you will buy this book whether you like what it is about or not), but I think that taste is so subjective when it comes to either side of the cover that it’s difficult to gauge. There are more important things to get right. Take for example the cover of Bill Cosby’s last book, which through the unfortunate omission of a comma, changed the meaning of its title completely. (And kids, if you don’t get the joke, it’s ok. You’ll get it when you’re older.) The publishers seem to have fixed it on the paperback version.
But–I do think books with African-Americans portrayed on the cover will still sell–in fact, they would stand out on the shelf since so few, unless you’re in the Social Studies or African-American Lit section, have such covers. Due to the constraints of WordPress.com (I really should have made a whole separate post of this) I can’t put the gallery in this same post, but I’ll do a new page for it today.
Now that I think about it, quite a few of the books I like with African-Americans in the cover art are either required reading for schools (like Kindred or Their Eyes Were Watching God), but a few of them, while they have what I consider to be good cover art in general, don’t portray the main, African-American character on the cover. (Again, a separate gallery to build. Will link as soon as I finish it.)
And while Green’s outlook on the brick-and-mortar bookstore becoming obsolete in the next decade is gloomy, I’ll have to respond with the Monty Python line “I’m not dead yet / I feel happy”. Sure, we’re not in the best place right now. But new readers are born every day. And some of them have parents with jobs. So I’m hopeful, that in 10 years’ time there will still be a physical bookstore and a physical book. Whether I’m running the store or just shopping there remains to be seen.
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My husband wants this book, but I hesitate to buy it–reviews on The GR are medium-low.
As for Ishiguro, only time and paychecks will tell. (Speaking of paychecks, that means you all who won my 09/09/09 contest and have not received your books yet can expect them in the mail soon–they go out tomorrow! Yay for payday!!)