Thursday, October 20, 2011

1Q84 and the Allure of Physical Books

I pre-ordered Murakami's 1Q84 for my Kindle, but after watching this video of Chip Kidd talking about his design of the hard-cover, I know that I need to get out there and buy one of these..

Since I got my Kindle almost a year ago, I've done most of my reading either on the Kindle or on my phone.  I love having all of these books available to me at all times and I love the experience of reading on these devices.  I've read so much more this year as the result of my Kindle.

But when I see something as beautiful as this new Murakami novel, I remember how much I love physical books.  A book is such an amazing piece of art.  It has a physical, tactile feel to it that's enhanced by using quality paper and a nice sturdy binding.  Despite the old adage about not judging a book by it's cover, I am constantly judging books by their cover!  It's the visual representation of the content.  It's the external expression of what's waiting to be discovered inside.  It's the weight of the thing... the physicality of it.

Watch this video and tell me that you don't want this thing on your shelf!  I dare you.  This thing is beautiful.

As part of my recent purging of books, I've only been keeping the novels that are either very attractive on the shelf or are absolute favorites.  I'm starting to really care (deeply!) about beautiful books and as such I've started watching things like Powell's Indiespensable program.  The image of Franzen's Freedom over there is an example of what they're doing over there.  Nice slipcase, amazing books, great design.  I'd love to have that on my shelf.

So that's why I'm going to buy a physical copy of 1Q84.  Because I can't not but a copy of it.

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