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i will not only judge books by their covers, i will also judge you

just because i love books doesn’t mean i’m not a superficial snob sometimes.  in fact, if chip kidd did the design for panasonic’s VCR instruction manuals, there’s a chance i’d buy an antiquated machine i no longer have tapes for.  but if you’re going to write a book about radical approaches to cartography, you better have a radical approach to your cover art.  and crapping out something that looks like the unholy offspring of a color test and a barcode doesn’t really qualify.

rather than saying “read me because i have interesting things to say about the future of mapping shit”—which experimental geography might very well do—this book says to me that the author wouldn’t know radical if it time-traveled from the 1980s and punched him in the face.

how the book design review ever thought this qualified as one of the most well-designed book covers of 2009 is beyond me.  however, i do give bdr props  for calling out the fact that someone finally did a 1984 cover that doesn’t suck.  love that book, love the new jacket.  doubleplusgood, indeed.

7 Responses to “i will not only judge books by their covers, i will also judge you”

  1. Sam Ligon says:

    I love the title of this entry.

  2. Sam Edmonds says:

    I second that.

  3. Asa says:

    It may not say he knows “radical” but does it say he knows “experimental?” Not really commenting seriously, just checking out if the gravatar avatar works.

  4. Marcus says:

    I like the cover. Seriously. The first duty of a book cover is to get you to pull the book off the shelf, yeah? Done and done.

  5. jason says:

    looks like i wasn’t the only one digging on orwell’s new threads: http://www.litdrift.com/2010/01/19/im-not-allowed-to-love-book-covers-but-i-do/

    also, ewu’s very own rachel just published a piece on writers & their cover art: http://chronicle.com/article/Cover-Stories/63559/

  6. Ben Horton says:

    This would be were I tell you I saw shiny spine on Galapagos: a novel that I pulled from the shelf a Chelsea bookstore when I went to return it only cover is shiny , nice trick, or so it goes, now I buy and read this Vonegutt fellow for the first time Slauthrt huos 9 I put off till next ot last outmof spite.

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