Here at The Millions, we know the importance of a book’s cover (for evidence see here, here, here and here), so Margaret Sullivan‘s new project, Jane Austen Cover to Cover, has our attention. A sample of covers for Emma, available on The Paris Review‘s blog, “provides a fascinating glimpse into a variety of publishing cultures, and it reminds that even our classics are mutable, pitched to appeal to any number of sensibilities, their literary status in constant flux per the dictates of the market.”
“[C]hildren often prefer the factual over the fantastical. And a growing body of work suggests that when it comes to storybooks, they also learn better from stories that are realistic. For example, preschool-aged children are more likely to learn new facts about animals when the animals are portrayed realistically as opposed to anthropomorphically.” Two new studies suggest that where learning is concerned, realism trumps fantasy in children’s books. Which is as good a time as any to ask our own Jacob Lambert‘s question: Are picture books leading our children astray?
Yesterday, Amazon announced “Kindle Library Lending,” a new feature coming later this year that will allow users to go to their local libraries and “check out” books to their Kindle. The eBooks can be kept for about the same amount of time as a normal library book. The users can take notes in the margin, which, if they decide to buy the book or check it out again, will still be there. Technology!
If you haven’t seen Knopf art director Chip Kidd’s humorous TED Talk yet, you should really get right on that. He makes a good “visual first impression,” discusses the role of a book designer, the smell of an iPad, and does it all while wearing a “skanky mic.”