Friday, 27 August 2010

Judging a book by its cover

Between one hardcover (left) and the soft cover – in more ways than one – it seems to have lost energy and gained a banning

Banned in Canada? Doesn't that have the ring of Monty Python's Life of Brian catchline, "The film that is so funny that it was banned in Norway!" 

But no, not banned in fact: the book The Golden Mean (by Canadian author Annabel Lyon) was merely taken off the shelves of one vendor (BC Ferries) because, the vendor said, it featuring a naked male posterior. Which might offend children. The fact that a), it wouldn't and b), it's a book for grown readers, is apparently neither here nor there. 

The cover decision does nothing for me design-wise, looking as it does like so-called chick-lit of some kind. I would have passed it by in a book shop. So, it's a surprise that the book looks like it might be an interesting ("intelligent, savvy" according to one Amazon reviewer), award-winning story about Aristotle tutoring Alexander the Great. So, thanks to BC Ferries for bringing it to my attention: saving children from the sight of a man's bottom might just have made a sale. I just wonder why the publishers saw fit to design the paperback more Athena than Athens

Perhaps they should rely on apposite design ideas more.

via The New Yorker

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