The Book Design Review points us at a nice article at GOOD Magazine about the importance of book design, which has an even nicer quote from James Gleik from an interview with the the NY Times: “Go back to an old-fashioned idea: that a book, printed in ink on durable paper, acid-free for longevity, is a thing of beauty. Make it as well as you can. People want to cherish it.”
BoingBoing thinks this is wrong in all sorts of ways: “In the same way the internet has forced newspapers into a ‘news vs. paper’ moment, the publishing world is in a ‘readers vs. book lovers’ moment. In this environment, the single most important choice anyone in publishing has to make is this: ‘How many generations do I want to be in business?’ Because hawking Ye Olde Codices to aging connoisseurs is a one-generation business.”
We think they’re both right. It’s not a mutually-exclusive issue. You can embrace new media and treat your books as design objects. If the hundreds of imprints and countless genres have taught us anything, it’s that book readers like variety.