Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I was wondering...

Over the past week or so, I've been reading The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (let me tell you, the hardcover cover is pretty ugly). It's interesting so far, but one thing that really put me off at first was the layout and formatting of the pages. The copy that I have (from the library) has a fat and unpleasant font and there's hardly any spacing.

This made me wonder: we often judge books by their cover (you don't want to admit it, but you probably do), but do you ever judge a book by the way it looks inside? I know that I've often put down books because of tiny print or a distracting font. Are there any particular fonts or layouts that work well for books? (I love the Garamond font in Harry Potter, for example, and I love original art at the beginning of each chapter.)

Feel free to answer in the comments... :-)


anilee said...

You should have just bought The Thief. And the others too. Because The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia are really amazing. And the fourth comes out in March! *squees*

I really love the insides of the Harry Potter books, too. And Shannon Hale's books, I think.

I'll keep reading books regardless of font and/or spacing, but it IS really annoying and makes it hard to focus, and yes, if a book has a terrible layout, I'm more likely to be harsher on the book. I don't mind small print, but only if there's a little spacing. But a lot of spacing? That is a pet peeve of mine. 1.5 spacing, I guess, is ideal in my opinion. And only with smaller font. If the font is larger...still a little spacing, I guess. I think I prefer smaller font (again, HPs are good).

Like I hated The Hollow's layout. (Granted, the book was kind of bad, too.) It's this really thick book, so you open it, expecting pages filled with the words telling a dense (in a good way) story, but no. Large font and ridiculously large spacing. Very annoying.

I think that sometimes, the layout of a book...just seems...mashed together or something. It's not pretty. Come to think of it, I tend to hate the layouts of most books because there's not enough spacing.

(Does that read as incoherently as I think it does?)

Priya said...

Don't worry, it's very coherent :)

Kirthi said...

I think that the cover defines a book, even if the book is really good, the cover often ruins it (if it's a REALLY good book, then the cover doesn't matter). I judge a book by it's cover, literally. Not like, I judge a colored person or in that sense, just books.

Nonie said...

Oh, do you have the cover with Gen with a crown and robe on (or something like that), and shadows in the background? I had the misfortune of getting that copy at the library, and I had a really hard time getting into it, because of the font. I prefer the new version.

Anyway, yes, even though I kind of don't like doing it, I always tend to judge books by the font, or pages, etc. It's much better if the font or the layout of the book suits the story, like Harry Potter, or the Books of Bayern, or the Hunger Games. It just adds to the experience of reading the book. The fonts they use in HP or the Bayern books helps the story be more magical, and the font in the Hunger Games makes it more futuristic.(umm...does that make sense?)

The Gallagher Girls books are awesome but for some reason, the font always seems to be jumping out at me, so it's really hard to concentrate on them. It always takes me a longer time to read them than it usually does to read another book.

So yeah, I think the inside of the book is just as important as the outside (ok, so maybe not as important, but it's still something that I think the publishers should think about).

Priya said...

Kirthi- me too :P

Nonie- yes, I did get that copy! And I completely agree with you about the Hunger Games font being more futuristic, etc.

geekspawn said...

YES. YES YES YES YES YES. I do judge books by their covers, quite shamelessly, but I also judge them by their thickness and font. It could be the Goose Girl for heaven's sake and I would hate it if it was a thick, ugly, forced-together font in a thick, short little cover.

Beth S. said...

I might need to show your post to my students. I'm ALWAYS preaching to them about how the writing needs to LOOK inviting for people to read it. You could have the most brilliant words and fluent sentences, but if you have no paragraphs, and all the writing is smooshed together, then people are going to give up before they even START reading.

I judge writing by its appearance all the time - as does every other reader on earth.

Iffath♥Ahmed said...

Deffo agree with Nonie ;)