The Racket #12 : BORDERS
Poster by Ryan Tovani
10.30.2017 - ADOBE BOOKS - 7PM
So, yeah, we will judge a book by its cover.
We've been thinking a lot about book covers - pull quotes and the pithy descriptions PR folks slap on to the back covers - and how much they actually affect us. It makes sense, right? Books are like movies, and their covers are like trailers. Editors slice together a 2 minute chunk of whatever it is their larger, more money-oriented overlords want their potential audience to believe their movie is about. We froth and foam about this possible film and then rant and rave if the film doesn't live up to the imaginary billing.
Book jackets aren't much better. It isn't just the paragraph long distillation of what the book is that sways us - it's the artwork, the quotes, the authors of those quotes, the reviews and the publications those reviews come from. Every aspect of a book cover is meant to sway us into thinking the book is a certain thing intended for a certain audience (hopefully, you!). It reduces a book - complex, beautiful pieces of art that they are - to a superficial set of descriptions and opinions in the hope it'll snare readers drawn to those descriptions and opinions.
This isn't to say that we believe book covers should be reduced to a dull, fascist grey with the title and author written in Times New Roman across the front. More that in recent weeks we've been stung by the persuasiveness of a great book cover (and our own rampant predilections) and it got us to thinking. Is this a problem? And if so, what does the solution look like?
We have no answers, merely opinions.