Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Design is Changing

Borders is disappearing, leaving Barnes and Nobles along with a few local shops the only book shops available. None are near where I live, and I bet this is common for other people, as well. Even if Borders had made it through, the way we buy books is changing: Amazon sells more kindle books than paper ones. The way we shop for these books has changed too.

"Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a-a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and-and-and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer is a - it, uh, it has no-no texture, no-no context. It's-it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then-then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um, smelly."

We could go to a store and touch the book and flip through the illustrations and decide if a book was truly for us. I am huge on texture, and I like being able to feel a book in my hand, before I buy it. This is impossible when I order a book online. This becomes more important when I pick out a book that has several cover options: such as my Alice in Wonderland book. There were at least 7 options for this title, but I chose the one with the hardback binding, letterpressed cover, and gilded pages. If I could not feel and see this book in person, who knows what I would have purchased. Probably whatever was cheapest would have been in my shopping cart.

Not only are shoppers effected by this change of shopping but: designers, illustrators, printing companies, ink companies, paper mills, and I am sure there is more behind the scene action that has changed in the creation of a book. As operating systems become more sophisticated digital can include color, illustrations, and unique typography. A digital book will lack the texture, feel, and smell of a book. Until digital books can incorporate my loves (plus the feel of paper) I don't I will make this digital jump.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on that. The design and texture of a real book can spark so many feelings. It's what makes a bookshelf so appealing over a menu of books on a digital reader. There's so much color, texture, and--as you remembered to point out--scent. A book gains its personality as much from these physical characteristics as from the words on its pages.


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