Wednesday, November 11, 2009

e-readers - a door closes...

A fundamental aspect of my reality will change soon.

What I mean is, I'm going to buy an e-reader within the next month.  And whether I go for the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook, the way I consume the written word -- and trust me I'm a big consumer -- will be changed

Now, many people bemoan the loss of the tactile sensation of holding a book in your hand when you change to an e-reader - the heft, the weight of the book is a very viceral experience for them.  I get that.

What I'll miss most though, is the jacket cover.  Please tell me, how will something as beautiful as the Gatsby cover be replicated?  In other words, what will happen to jacket cover art?  Also - how will people know how smart if they can't tell what book you are reading? (Don't over look this point - it's very important on New York City subways!)

So while e-readers lack the proper jacket covers of the hardcovers they replace, Barnes & Noble has commissioned a few "designer" covers for their new Nook e-reader.  And some of them are pretty cool.

My favorite are from Jack Spade.

From Nook

From Nook

From Nook

Don't get me wrong - there is no way to compare the beauty of a classic jacket cover with a simple protective slip cover.  And I don't think jacket covers will die off completely as I think we'll still be reading on paper for decades and decades to come. 

However, I think it is interesting that where one door is closed in terms of design, another opens in an unexpected fashion. 


  1. I know what you mean...I'm in the market for an e-reader as well. I do like the Jack Spade one...if I get one, I want a simple cover.

    The part of e-reading I'm having trouble with is that I won't have a physical 'gauge' of how close I am to finishing the book. Oh well...who am I to stand in the way of technology.

  2. That is a really good point (the gauge) that I had not considered before. To my knowledge they don't have a "status bar" or anything.

    You are right - there is something satisfying in seeing you are like 3/4 of the way through a giant tome.