Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Browsing spines

Book Spines

Lisa Chellman, a writer and children's librarian, wrote an excellent post about the spines of books being even more important than their covers for browsing, especially for young, reluctant, readers.

I often weave my way around the shelves of my local library, slowing near the true crime section and the biography shelves. An interesting title, artistically presented on the spine, will make me investigate further.

"When readers are faced with rows upon rows of spine-out books, what draws them to a particular volume, causes them to pull it off the shelf so they can then be enticed by the cover design and the jacket copy?

I believe it's two interrelated variables: the title and the spine design. The title is the spine's most important content. First and foremost, the title should be easy to read. Readers should be able to identify the book without squinting or pulling it off the shelf. That's something the old-style, no-nonsense, K.I.S.S. spines had going for them: pure functionality. Artistry is important, but it should come in a rather distant second."

Read the rest of her post, Spinal Exam

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