Booking Through Thursday: Cover Story

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no question that it can make a difference!

What book(s) have your favorite covers? Something that’s perfect for the story, the tone, the colors, the mood…

And did you pick up the book BECAUSE of the cover? Or were you going to read it anyway, and the cover was just serendipitous?

I am stupidly easy to distract with a beautiful cover. While I can’t be too picky at the moment, as I rely mostly on libraries for my books and get whatever edition they happen to have on hand, it does definitely flavor my reading experience. What I can say? I’m a really visual person.

As far as favorite covers, Alan Lee’s illustrations gracing those enormous copies of The Lord of the Rings are jaw-droppingly beautiful; they focus on monuments in Middle-Earth, giving your imagination a bit of wiggle room. Rock and Roll is Here to Stay has a lovely cover, with the text vertical instead of horizontal and limited color. I’m awful fond of the look of the Penguin Classics—you know, illustration, black box—for anything in the public domain. And the American cover for Mr. Toppit is very arresting.

I have read books solely based on their cover; again, I’m really visual and I didn’t really read as a kid. I specifically remember stumbling across the gorgeous cover to The Gigolo Murder, done by Tomer Hanuka, and snatching up The Kiss Murder because of its cover. A decent read, but nothing really amazing, you know?

The Sunday Salon: Project Gutenberg

This past week, I started two proofreading gigs–one at my school newspaper and one at Distributed Proofreaders. Distributed Proofreaders is a website where registered volunteers help convert books in the public domain into e-books by proofreading the digitized text. There’s several rounds of proofreading and formatting, and at the end of it all, the book is added to Project Gutenberg.

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The Sunday Salon: Book Shopping

Yesterday, I went to Books-a-Million to pick through the clearance section like a particularly determined vulture, as is my wont. To my great delight, I found The Kiss Murder, the first book in a mystery series I want to read. (I know mystery and I have a tenuous relationship, but the protagonist is a Turkish drag queen who knows Thai kickboxing. How can I not read that?) Since I knew it probably wasn’t in any of the library systems available to me and the price was good, it came home with me.

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