What I’m Watching: BookTube and the Art of Book Covers

Over the last few days I’ve been watching a few more book-centric YouTube channels, partly from the couple of channels I actively subscribe to, and because more have been showing up in my suggestion screen.

One person I follow is Sanne on Books and Quills. Her channel is really interesting, since she actually works at Penguin Random House in the UK. Recently she’s put up a couple of videos I found highly, nerdily fascinating: book covers. Specifically, how the art is designed so that you specifically will pick it up, and what the different kinds of finishes on a book cover are called.

This first video, How Do Book Covers Work, gave me the sense that it’s OK when I pick up a book mainly because I enjoy the way the cover looks. (I did that recently, actually.) Publishers want their covers to appeal to the people who would probably want to read the book, after all. So, if the cover grabs me, perhaps the book will, too.

So. I love touching books. Not just the paper, or the weight and shape, but the feeling of a matte cover beneath my hands, embossed letters and designs bumping up beneath my fingers… This is one of the few downfalls of working in a library, that most of the books come to me pre-wrapped in the protective library covers, so I can’t always feel the texture of the cover. (Though sometimes I can stick my fingers under the plastic and touch the cover underneath, which, yup, oh boy, that sounds dirty.) Some of the terms, like “super matte” and “debossed” I’d never heard before, so maybe now I’ll sound like I know a little bit more like I know what I’m talking about when I talk about books.

These videos have gotten me thinking about what I like in my book covers, so maybe I’ll write a post about some of my favorite book covers that I own. And also I watch a lot of YouTube, probably more than I read blogs, so I will feature some more of my favorite videos soon.

What are you watching? And do you love book covers as much as I do? (probably not.) Let me know!

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