Never judge a book by its cover

November 15, 2007 at 11:04 pm (Seeing) (, )

I’ve spent many a lunch hour mooning over the Penguin Celebrations covers in my local bookshop. There’s something so appealing and naive about the classic covers; they seem to say ‘this book is so fantastic that it doesn’t even need a picture to tell you what it’s about’. Like a tiny little mystery waiting to be solved. You can also colour code your bookshelf 😉

There’s nothing naive about the shrewd marketing ploy that is these yummy accessories, though. Like all successful icons, they communicate what they’re all about in a single glance. ‘I love Virginia Woolf so much that I use her book cover to wash up – I’m that literary’.

It’s all about image, of course; just because we like books doesn’t mean we’re not vain and self-conscious. We want people to know that we like books and that we’re cool, sophisticated, and clever because of it. How better to prove that than by drinking out of 1984?

Or carrying your latest read around in Lawrence? Carrying Lawrence around in Lawrence is a bit like a twin set, though. Make sure you mix it up a bit.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Joelle said,

    I love these Penguin designs. They’ve had any number of good designs for different series and editions, but these classics are just that. Did you see the deckchairs they did this summer? Want! I wonder what proportion of people with these products have actually read the book in question?

    I have a lovely book on Penguin designs I can lend if you are interested. It was a pressie from Mo.

  2. inkandkeys said,

    Ooh, I would adore to read that book, please!

    I did see the deckchairs, and I thought that they were fabulous. I think that you’re right, though – there’s probably loads of people out there who buy the products without reading the books. Which creates the question, are they products in their own right, independent of the book? You probably wouldn’t buy merchandise for a film you’d not seen, surely it’s the same for the books?

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