Mmmmm! Judging a book by its cover


paperbacks_backcover (Photo credit: karen horton)

In relation to weighing books and the debate of Paper or pixels? I realised that paperbacks have changed!  Is it just me or have paperbacks got a lot more tactile in recent years?

If you get hold of an old paperback then you will experience a flimsy, slippery and shiny cover with the occasional bit of embossing.  They all felt the same.

However, now they are have multisensory appeal to buy them.  Gone are the slippery, shiny covers and we now have highly embossed, tactile covers with leather-like feel or that card that feel a bit rubbery to the touch and grips your fingers.  Or matt finishes, or a combination of matt and glossy.

It doesn’t stop there either, there are red edges to pages, black edges to pages.

They are a sensual cornucopia of loveliness and do make you go “mmmmm!”, when you pick them up.  This definitely effects whether I’m likely to buy a book.  If I like the feel and it appears to add quality I’m more likely to buy it.  I haven’t thought of this before but I think this technique is working on me.

I wonder too whether this is to resonate with old books, where they might have hand tooled lettering, gilt edging and marbled end boards and fly leaves?  Is this a conscious last push from the publishers against e-books to say “Look what you’re giving up!  All this quality and sensual delight”.  A new twist on the old “I like the feel of a book, the smell of it…” idea that you hear so often.  Do you, like me, sneak into a book shop and give the covers a good fondle?


Sorry no change here, I haven’t had any time to read!

One response

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